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The Students Roman Empire 







(27 B.C.-180 A.D.) 

By J. B. BURY, M.A. 




W. P. I 


It is well known that for the period of Roman history, 
which is of all its periods perhaps the most important — the 
first two centuries of the Empire — there exists no English 
handbook suitable for use in Universities and Schools. The 
consequence of this want in our educational course is that 
the knowledge of Roman history possessed by students, 
who are otherwise men of considerable attainments in 
classical literature, comes to a sudden end at the Battle of 
Actium. At least, their systematic knowledge ends there \ 
of the subsequent history they know only isolated facts 
gathered at haphazard from Horace, Juvenal and Tacitus. 
This much-felt need will, it is hoped, be met by the present 
volume, which bridges the gap between the Students Rome 
and the Students Gibbon. 

This work has been written directly from the original 
sources. But it is almost unnecessary to say that the 
author is under deep obligations to many modern guides. 
He is indebted above all to Mommsen's Romisches Staats- 
recht, and to the fifth volume of the same historian's 
Rbmische Geschiehte. He must also acknowledge the 
constant aid which he has derived from Merivale's History 
of the Romans under the Empire, Schiller's Geschiehte der 
romischen Kaiserzeit, and Herzog's Geschiehte und System 
der romischen Staatsverfassung. Duruy's History of Rome 
has been occasionally useful. The lesser and more special 
books which have been consulted with advantage are too 
numerous to mention. Gardthausen's (as yet incomplete) 
work on Augustus, Lehmann's monograph on Clmidius 


(with invaluable genealogical tables), Schiller's large 
monograph on Nero, De la Berge and Dierauer on Trajan, 
Diirr on the journeys of Hadrian, Lacour-Gayet on 
Antoninus Pius, Hirschf eld's Untersuchungen auf dem 
Gebiete der romischen Verwaltungsgeschichte are the most 
important. The assistance derived from Xenopol's paper 
on Trajan's Dacian wars in the Bevue historique (xxxi., 
1886) must be specially acknowledged. Of editions, the 
Monumentum Ancyranum by Mommsen, the Annals of 
Tacitus by Mr. Furneaux, the Correspondence of Pliny 
and Trajan and Plutarch's Lives of Galba and Otho by 
Mr. Hardy, the Satires of Juvenal -by Mr Mayor, the 
Epigrams of Martial by Friedlander, have been most 
helpful. The author has also had the advantage of the 
learning of Mr. L. C. Purser, whose great kindness in 
reading the proof-sheets with minute care cannot be 
sufficiently acknowledged. 

It is hoped that the concluding chapter on 'Roman Life 
and Manners will be found useful. It is compiled from 
the materials furnished in Friedlander's Sittengeschichte, 
various articles in the new edition of Sir W. Smith's Dic- 
tionary of Greek and Boman Antiquities, and Mayor's 
Juvenal. It has been thought advisable to make copious 
quotations from, and references to, Horace, Juvenal, and 
Martial a special feature of this chapter, in order to bring 
the study of those authors more immediately in touch with 
the period to which they belong. 

The constitutional theory and history of the Principate 
have been investigated with such striking results in recent 
years by the elaborate researches of Mommsen and his 
school in Germany, that the author felt himself called 
upon to treat this side of imperial history as fully as the 
compass of a handbook seemed to admit. It is a subject 
which cannot be otherwise than difficult ; but in order to 
read the history of the Empire intelligently, it is indispen- 
sable to master at the outset the constitutional principles, 
to which Chapters II. and III. are devoted. 



31-27 B.C. I. Feom the Battle op Actitjm to the 

Foundation of the Principate . 1 
27 B.a-14 a.d. II. The Principate . . , .12 

27 B.a-180 a.d. III. The joint Government of the Princeps 

and Senate ..... 27 

27 b.c-14 a.d. IV. The Family of Augustus and his 

Plans to found a Dynasty . . 45 
27 b.c-14 a.d. V. Administration of Augustus in Kome 
and Italy. Organisation of the 
Army . . . . . .59 

27 b.c-14 a.d. VI. Provincial Administration under 

Augustus. The Western Provinces 74 
27 B.C.- 14 a.d. VII. Provincial Administration (continued). 

The Eastern Provinces and Egypt 102 
27 b.c-4 a.d. VIII. Rome and Parthia j 

25-22 B.C. Expeditions to Arabia and> . .117 

Ethiopia j 

12 b.c-14 a.d. IX. The Winning and Losing of Germany. 

Death of Augustus t . . . 124 


INGS ..... 141 

41 b.c-14 a.d. XI. Literature of the Augustan Age . 149 
14-37 a.d. XII. The Principate of Tiberius . .164 
14-37 a.d. XIII. The Principate of Tiberius (con- 
tinued) . . . . . .188 

37-41 a.d. XIV. The Principate of Gaius (Caligula). 214 
41-54 a.d. XV The Principate of Claudius . . 230 




43-61 a.d. XVI. The Conquest of Britain . . 258 

54-68 a.d. XVII. The Principate of Nero . . 273 

41-66 a.d. XVIII. The Wars for Armenia, under 

Claudius and Nero . . . 305 
68-69 a.d. XIX. The Principate of Galba, and 

the Year of the four Emperors 324 
69-70 a.d. XX. Kebellions in Germany and Judea 351 

XXI. The Flavian Emperors, ^ 
69-79 a.d. Vespasian, 

79-81 a.d. Titus, 


69-96 a.d. XXII. Britain and Germany under the) 

Flavians j 397 

85-89 a.d. Dacian war J 

96-98 a.d. XXIII. Nerva \ 

98-117 a.d. and Trajan I . . 412 

101-106 a.d. The Conquest of Dacia) 

98-117 a.d. XXIV. Trajan's Principate (continued). 
Administration and Eastern 
Conquests .... 433 
37-117 a.d. XXV. Literature from the Death of 

Tiberius to Trajan. , . 457 
117-138 a.d. XXVI. The Principate of Hadrian . 489 
138-161 a.d. XXVII. The Principate of Antoninus 

Pius 522 

161-180 a.d. XXVIII. The Principate of Marcus 

Aurelius /■'. . . . 533 
138-180 a.d. XXIX. Literature under Hadrian and 

the Antonines. . . .551 

27 b.c-180 a.d. XXX. The Koman World under the 

Empire. Politics, Philosophy, 
Religion and Art . . . 562 
27 b.c-180 a.d. XXXI. Roman Life and Manners . . 591 

Index 627 


Map of the Western Provinces of the Roman Empire to face page 83 

„ Eastern „ „ „ „ .' „ „ 103 

Plan of Kome ........ page 144 

Plan of the Battle of Locus Casto rum . . . to face page 335 

Map to illustrate the Dacian campaigns of Trajan „ „ 422 

Map of the Eoman Wall, with the principal stations . page 502 


Augustus (from the bust in the British Museum) 
Temple of Mars Ultor (as it appears at the present day) 
Augustus crowned (from the Vienna cameo) 
Agrippa ...... 

Head of Livia (found at Pompeii, now in the Museum at Napl 
Coin of Augustus . 
Livia, wearing the Palla 
Julia ..... 

Coin : Marcellus . 

Arch of Augustus at Rimini . 

Coin of Gaius and Lucius Csesar 

Arch of Augustus at Aosta . 

Coin : Altar of Rome and Augustus at Lugudunum . 

Triumph of Tiberius (from the Sainte Chapelle cameo) 

Trophies of Augustus . 

Coins commemorating recovery of standards from the Parthians 

Coin of Augustus and Artavasdes 

So-called Arch of Drusus 

Coin of Drusus 

Ancient Rome (Restoration) . 

Head of Maecenas 

Tomb of Virgil 

Digentia, Horace's "Sabine farm 

Head of Tiberius . 

View of Brundusium 

Parthian Warriors, from Trajan's Column 

Agrippina, so-called wife of Germanicus (from statue in tl 

Capitol) ........ 

Cameo : Gaius and Drusilla (from the cameo in the Bibliotheque 

Nationale, Paris) 
Antonia (from the Louvre) . 





s) 27 



























of Corbulo 

Claudius (from the statue in the Vatican) .... 

Bust of Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus (from the bust in 

the Capitol) 
Messalina (from the bust in the Capitol) 
Apotheosis of Germanicus 
Nero (from the bust in the British Museum, brought 

Athens). ..... 

Coin of Poppsea ..... 

Aqueduct of Nemausus . 

Coin struck by Nero to commemorate successes 

Coin of Arsaces ..... 

Coin : Galba 

Otho (from the bust in the British Museum) 
Vitellius (from a bust in Vienna) . 
Arch of Titus ..... 

Coin : Judsea Capta .... 

Colosseum . . 

Titus (from the British Museum) . 

Domitian (from the statue at Munich) . 

Vespasian (from the Museum at Naples) 

Roman Arch at Lincoln 

Nerva (from the Vatican) 

Trajan's Column . 

Figures from Trajan's Column 

Trajan (from the bust in the British Museum) 

Relief from Trajan's Column . 

Trajan gives a king to the Parthians 

Adventus Coin of Hadrian 

Nero Citharoedus (from the statue in the Capitol) 

Seneca (so called) (from a bust in the museum at Naples) 

Hadrian (from a bust in the British Museum) . 

Sabina. ....... 

Antoninus Pius (from a bust in the British Museum) 
Consecratio of Antoninus and Faustina . 
Marcus Aurelius (from the Louvre) 
Lucius Verus (from a bust in the British Museum) . 
Mausoleum of Hadrian (as it appears at the present day). 
Head of Antinous (from the bust in the British Museum). 
Temple of Venus and Rome (as it appears at the present day) 
Bas-relief of triumph of Marcus Aurelius (from the Capitol) 
Baluese at Pompeii : Tepidarium . 
School-flogging ..... 
Baths of Caracalla .... 
Section of Flavian Amphitheatre . 
Method of raising wild beasts in the arena 
Faustina as Mater Castrorum . ... 
Coin of Antoninus Pius, representing the Funeral Pyre at his 











§ 1. Caesar. § 2. Agrippa aDd Maecenas. § 3. Caesar's treatment of 
Egypt. The Egyptian booty. Settlement of the veterans in Italy. 
Reorganisation of legions. § 4. Caesar in the East. His return to 
Italy. Conspiracy of Lepidus. Decrees in honour of Caesar. His 
triumphs over (1) Dalmatia and Pannonia, (2) Asia, (3) Egypt. 
Closing of the Temple of Janus. § 5. Caesar's position as triumvir. 
He resigns the triumvirate (27 B.C.). 

§ 1. C. Julius C^sar, the triumvir and the founder of the Eoman 
Empire, was the grandnephew * of C. Julius Caesar, the dictator, his 

* His mother Atia was the daughter of Julia, the dictator's sister. 


adoptive father. Originally named, like his true father, C. Octavius,* 
he entered the Julian family after the dictator's death, and, according 
to the usual practice of adopted sons, called himself C. Julius Caesar 
Octavianus. But the name Octavianus soon fell into disuse, and by 
his contemporaries he was commonly spoken of as Cassar, just as 
Scipio iEmilianus was commonly called Scipio. 

The victory of Actium (Sept. 2, 31 B.C.), and the death of 
Marcus Antonius (Aug. 1, 30 B.C.) placed the supreme power in 
the hands of Caesar, for so we may best call him until he becomes 
Augustus. The Koman world lay at his feet and he had no rival. 
He was not a man of genius and his success had perhaps been chiefly 
due to his imperturbable self-control. He was no general ; he was 
hardly a soldier, though not devoid of personal courage, as he had 
shown in his campaign in Illyricum. As a statesman he was able, 
but not creative or original, and he would never have succeeded in 
forming a permanent constitution but for the example of the great 
dictator. In temper he was cool, without ardour or enthusiasm. 
His mind was logical and he aimed at precision in thought and 
expression. His culture was wide, if superficial ; his knowledge of 
Greek imperfect. In literary style he affected simplicity and 
correctness ; and he was an acute critic. Like many educated men 
of his time, he was not free from superstition. His habits were 
always simple, his food plain, and his surroundings modest. His 
family affections were strong and sometimes misled him into weak- 
ness. His presence was imposing, though he was not tall, and his 
features were marked by symmetrical beauty ; but the pallor of his 
complexion showed that his health was naturally delicate. It was 
due to his self-control and his simple manner of life that. he lived to 
be an old man. 

§ 2. The successes of Caesar had not been achieved without the 
aid of others. Two remarkable men, devoted to his interests, stood 
by him faithfully throughout the civil wars, and helped him by 
their counsels and their labours. These were M. Yipsanius 
Agrippa and C. Cilnius Maecenas. As they helped him not only to 
win the empire, but also to wield it after he had won it, it is 
necessary to know what manner of men they were. 

Of Agrippa we know strangely little considering the prominent 
position he occupied for a long and important period, and the part 
he played in the history of the world. From }^outh up he had 
been the companion of Caesar, and he was always content to take 
the second place. His military ability stood Caesar in good stead, 
notably in the war with Sextus Pompeius, and on the day of 
Actium. He had first distinguished himself at the siege of Perusia 
* Thurinus is said to have been given him as a cognomen. 


(41 b.c), and, subsequently, his victories over the Germans beyond 
the Rhine established his military fame. His success was due to 
his own energy, for he had no interest, and, belonging to an 
obscure gens, he was regarded by the nobility as an upstart. He 
was not, perhaps, a man of culture, but bis tastes were liberal. His 
interest in architecture was signalised by many useful buildings ; and 
Gaul owed him a great debt for the roads which he constructed in 
that country. In appearance he is said to have been stern and 
rugged; in temper he was reserved and proud. He was ambitious, 
but only for the second place ; yet he was the one man who might 
have been a successful rival of his master. 

Maecenas resembled Agrippa in his unselfish loyalty to Cassar ; 
but his character was very different. Like Agrippa, he did not 
aspire to become the peer of their common master; but while the 
heart of Agrippa was set on being acknowledged as second, 
Maecenas preferred to have no recognised position. Agrippa's 
excellence was in the craft of war ; while Maecenas cultivated the 
arts of peace. Agrippa had forwarded the cause of Caesar by his 
generalship ; Maecenas aided him by diplomacy. It will be re- 
membered how the latter negotiated the treaties of Brundusium and 
Misenum. During the campaigns which demanded the presence 
of Caesar, Maecenas conducted the administration of affairs in 
Italy, and watched over the interests of the absent triumvir. 
Until his death, (8 b.c.) he continued to be the trusted friend and 
adviser, in fact, the alter ego of Caesar ; and he had probably no 
small share in making the constitution of the Empire. But he 
always kept himself in the background. He was content with the 
real power which he enjoyed by his immense influence with Caesar ;' 
he despised offices and honours. It is characteristic of the man 
that he refused to pass from the equestrian into the senatorial 
order. He could indeed afford to look down upon many of the 
nobles ; for he came of an illustrious Etruscan race. In his tastes 
and manner of life he was unlike both Agrippa and Caesar. He was 
neither rough nor simple. A refined voluptuary, he made an art 
of luxury ; and it was quite consistent that ambition should have no 
place in his theory of life. When affairs called for energy and zeal, 
no one was more energetic and unresting than Maecenas ; but in 
hours of ease he almost went beyond the effeminacy of a woman.* 
Saturated with the best culture of his day, he took an enlightened 
interest in literature. Of the circle of men of letters which he 
formed around himself there will be an occasion to speak in a 
future chapter. 

* This is the expression of Velleius Paterculus : otio ac mollitiis psene ultra 


Such were the men who helped Caesar to win the first place in 
the state ; and who, when he had become the ruler of the world, 
devoted themselves to his service without rivalry or jealousy. 
Agrippa became consul for the second time in 28 B.C., with the 
triumvir for his colleague ; and his friendship with Caesar was 
soon cemented by a new tie. He married Marcella, the daughter 
of Octavia, Caesar's sister, by her first husband, C. Marcellus.* 

§ 3. The battle of Actium decided between Antonius and 
Caesar. But it also decided a still greater question. It decided be- 
tween the East and the West. For the Boman world had been 
seriously threatened by the danger of an Oriental despotism. The 
policy of Antonius in the East, his connection with Cleopatra, the 
idea of making Alexandria a second Borne, show that if things had 
turned out otherwise at Actium, Egypt would have obtained an 
undue preponderance in the Boman State, and the empire might 
have been founded in the form of an Eastern monarchy. Caesar 
recognised the significance of Egypt, and took measures to prevent 
future danger from that quarter. It was of course out of the 
question to allow the dynasty of Greek kings to continue. But 
instead of forming a new province, Caesar treated the land as if he 
were, by the right of conquest, the successor of Cleopatra, ,and of 
Ptolemy Caesarion, whom he had put to death. He did not, indeed, 
assume the title of king, but he appointed a prefect, who was 
responsible to himself alone, and was in every sense a viceroy ; and, 
as the lord of the country, he enacted that no Boman senator 
should visit it without his special permission. The first prefect of 
Egypt was C. Cornelius Gallus, with whose help Caesar had 
captured Alexaudria. The inhabitants of Egypt were debarred 
from the prospect of becoming Boman citizens, and no local 
government was granted to the cities.| 

The treasures of Cleopatra enabled Caesar to discharge many 
pressing obligations. He was able to pay back the loans which he 
had incurred in the civil wars. He was able also to give large 
donatives to the soldiers and the populace of Borne. The abundance 
of money which the conquest of Egypt suddenly poured upon 
Western Europe helped in no small measure to establish a new 
period of prosperity. After many dreary years of domestic war 
and financial difficulties, men now saw a prospect of peace and 

But, above all, the booty of Egypt enabled Caesar to satisfy the 
demands of 120,000 veterans. Immediately after Actium he had 
discharged all the soldiers who had served their time, but without 

* Octavia's second husband was M. I + See below, Chap. VII. $ 8. 
Antonius. I 


giving them the rewards which they had been led to expect. These 
veterans belonged both to Caesar's own army and to that ot 
Antonius which had capitulated. Seeing that they would be of 
little importance after the conclusion of the civil wars, they made a 
stand as soon as they reached Italy, and demanded that their 
claims should be instantly satisfied. Agrippa, who had returned 
with the troops, and Maecenas, to whom Caesar had entrusted the 
administration of Italy, were unable to pacify the soldiers, and it 
was found necessary to send for Caesar himself, who was wintering 
in Samos. The voyage was dangerous at that season of the year, 
but Caesar, after experiencing two severe storms, in which some of 
his ships were lost, reached Brundusium safely. He succeeded in 
satisfying the veterans, some with grants of land, others with 
money ; but his funds were quite insufficient to meet the claims of 
all, and he had to put off many with promises. He thus gained 
time until the immense Egyptian booty gave him means to fulfil 
his obligations. 

The greater number of the veterans were of Italian origin, and 
wished to receive land in their native country. As most of the 
Italians had supported the cause of Caesar, it was impossible to do on 
a large scale what had been done ten years before, and eject proprietors 
to make room for the soldiers. But the veterans of Antonius, who 
had on that occasion been settled in the districts of Ravenna, Bononia, 
Capua, &c, and sympathized with his cause, were now forcibly turned 
out of the holdings which they had forcibly acquired. They were, 
however — unlike the original proprietors — compensated by assign- 
ments of land in the provinces, especially in the East, where the civil 
war had depopulated many districts. But the land thus made 
available was not nearly enough, and Caesar was obliged to purchase 
the rest. In b.c. 30 and b.c. 14, he spent no less than 600 
million sesterces (about £5,000,000) in buying Italian farms for his 
veterans. We find traces of these settlements in various parts of 
Italy, especially in the neighbourhood of Ateste (Este). After the 
conquest of Egypt, the Antonian troops were transferred to the 
south of Gaul, and settled there in colonies possessing ius Latinum, 
for example, in Nemausus (Nimes). 

The wholesale discharge of veterans, as well as the losses sustained 
in the wars, rendered a reorganisation of the legions necessary. 
The plan was adopted of uniting those legions which had been 
greatly reduced in number with others which had been similarly 
diminished, and thus forming new " double-legions," as they were 
called by the distinguishing title of Gemina. Thus were formed 
the Thirteenth Gemina, the Fourteenth Gemina, &c. 

§ 4. The greater part of the year following the death of Cleo- 



Chap, l 

patra (Aug., b.c. 30) was occupied by Caesar in ordering the 
affairs of the Asiatic provinces and dependent kingdoms. Herod of 
Judea was rewarded for his valuable services by an extension of his 
territory, and several changes were made in regard to the petty 
principalities of Asia Minor.* There was probably some expecta- 
tion at Rome that Caesar, in the flush of his success, would attempt 
to try conclusions with the Parthian Empire, and retrieve the defeat 
of Carrhae, before he returned to Italy. Yirgil addresses him at this 
time in high-flown language, as if he were the arbiter of peace and 
war in Asia,f as far as the Indies. But Caesar deferred the 
settlement of the Parthian question. 

In the summer of 29 b.c. he returned to Italy, where he was 
greeted by the senate and the people with an enthusiasm which 
was certainly not feigned. There was a general feeling of relief at 
the end of the civil wars, and men heartily welcomed Caesar as a 
deliverer and restorer of peace. The only note of opposition 
had come from a son of M. iEmilius Lepidus, the triumvir. The 
father lived in peaceful retirement at Circeii, but the son was rash 
and ambitious, and formed the plan of murdering Caesar on his 
return. He did not take his father into the secret, but his 
mother Junia, a sister of Brutus, was privy to it. Maecenas 
discovered the conspiracy in good time, and promptly arrested 
Junia and her son. Young Lepidus was immediately despatched to 
Caesar in the East, and was there executed. But this incident was 
of little consequence; Caesar's position was perfectly safe. The 
honours which were paid to him would have been accorded with an 
equal show of enthusiasm to Antonius, if fortune had declared her- 
self for him; but there is little doubt that Caesar was more 
acceptable. The senate decreed that his birthday should be 
included among the public holidays, and it was afterwards 
regularly celebrated by races. His name was mentioned along 
with the gods in the Carmen Saliare, and it is probable that, if he 
had really wished it, divine honours would have been decreed to 
him in Rome, such as were paid to him in Egypt, where he stepped 
into the place of the Ptolemies, and in Asia Minor, where he 
assumed the privileges of the Attalids. But though he had become 
a god in the East, Caesar wished to remain a man in Rome.J He 
already possessed the tribunician power § for life; but it was now 

* For these changes, see below, 
Chap. VII. $ 5. 

f Georgics, ii. 170 : 

Maxime Caesar 
Qui nunc extremis Asiaa iam victor in oris 
Inbellem avertis Romanis arcibus In- 


% For his worship, subsequently es- 
tablished, in the western provinces, see 
below, Chap. VI. $$ 5 and 6. 

$ The potestas or magisterial power 
which belonged to a tribune of the plebs 
involved the following important rights : 
(1) the power of summoning the plebs 

81-27 B.C. 


granted again in an extended form. It was also decreed that every 
fourth anniversary of his victory should he commemorated hy 
games (ludi Actiaci) ; and that the rostra and trophies of the 
captured ships should adorn the temple of the divine Juliu?. 
Triumphal arches were to be erected in the Roman Forum and at 
Brundusium, to celebrate the victor's return to Italy; and a 
sacrifice of thanksgiving was offered to the gods by the senate 
and people, and by every private person. 

The triumph of Caesar lasted three days (Aug. 13, 14, 15). 
The soldiers who had been disbanded returned to their standards 
in order to take part in it, and all the troops which had shared 
in his victories were concentrated close to Rome. Each soldier 
received 1000 sesterces (about £8) as a triumphal gift ; and the 
Roman populace also received 400 sesterces a head. The triumph 
represented victories over the three known continents. The first 
days were devoted to the celebration of conquests in Europe ; the 
subjugation of Pannonia and Dalmatia, and some successes won in 
Gaul over rebellious tribes by C. Carrinas during Caesar's absence 
in the East. The triumph for Actium, which took place on the 
second day, represented a victory over the forces of Asia. The 
trophies were far more splendid than those won from the poor 
princes of Illyricum. The poet Propertius describes how he saw 
"the necks of kings bound with golden chains, and the fleet of 
Actium sailing up the Via Sacra." Among the kings were 
. Alexander of Emesa, whom Caesar had deposed after the battle, and 
Adiatorix, a Galatian prince, who before the battle had massacred 
all the Romans he could lay hands on. Both these captives were 
executed after the triumph. But the third day, which saw the 
triumph over Africa, was much the most brilliant. Cleopatra had, by 
destroying herself, avoided the shame of adorning her conqueror's 
triumphal car, but a statue of her was carried in her stead, and her 
two young children, Alexander and Cleopatra, represented the fallen 
house of Egyptian royalty. Images of the Nile and Egypt were 
also carried in the triumphal procession, and the richest spoils, with 

even against the will of the patrician 
magistrates, and making re=olutions in 
the assemblies of the tribes ; (2) the power 
of hindering the proceedings of other 
magistrates, in case he was appealed to 
for help, within the first milestone from 
the city; (3) the right of interceding 
against decrees of the senate and against 
the acts of other magistrates ; (4) the right 
of coercitio — that is, of suppressing and 
punishing any person who attempted to 
hinder him in his acts, or who insulted 

him in any way. The tribunician poiestas 
was hallowed by religious sanctity (sacro* 
sancta) ; the tribune's person was invio- 
lable. As there was no means of opposing 
it except by the intercession of another 
tribune, or by an appeal (provocation to 
the comitia centuriata or tributa,it became 
the strongest kind of power in the consti- 
tution, and was adopted by the Caesars, 
both dictator and triumvir, as a support 
of their position. 


quantities of gold and silver coins, were exhibited to the gaze of the 
people. The result of the great influx of money into Italy was that 
the rate of interest fell from 12 to 4 per cent. In one respect the 
order of Caesar's triumph departed from the traditional custom. 
His fellow-consul M. Valerius Messalla Potitus, and the other 
senators who took part in the triumph, instead of heading the 
procession and guiding the triumphator into the city, according 
to usage, were placed last of all. This innovation was significant 
of the oming monarchy. 

On this occasion the buildings, which Julius Cassar had designed 
and begun, and which had been completed since his death, were 
dedicated, and his own. temple was consecrated by his son with 
special solemnity. The game of " Troy " was represented in the 
Circus Maximus by boys of noble family, divided into two parties, 
of which one was commanded by Cassar's stepson, Tiberius Nero, 
the future Emperor. A statue of Victory was set up in the Senate- 
house. The occasion was further celebrated by games and 
gladiatorial combats, in which a Eoman senator did not disdain to 
take part. 

But these festivities were less significant for the inauguration of a 
new period than the solemn closing of the temple of Janus, which 
had been ordained by the senate, probably early in the same year 
(Jan. 11). The ceremonies instituted for such an occasion by King 
Numa had not been witnessed for more than two hundred years, for 
the last occasion on which the gates of Janus had been shut was at 
the conclusion of the First Punic War. Strictly speaking, peace 
was not yet established in every corner of the Eoman realm. There 
were hostilities still going on against mountain tribes in northern 
Spain, and on the German frontier. But these were small matters, 
mere child's play, which shrank to complete insignificance by the 
side of the Civil War which had been distracting the Eoman world 
for the last twenty years. Peace (the famous pax Romano) had in 
every sense come at length, and it was fitting that the doors of 
war should be closed at the beginning of an empire, of which the 
saying that " Empire is peace," * was pre-eminently true. 

§ 5. The powers which Cassar possessed as a triumvir were uncon- 
stitutional, and were, by their nature, intended to be only temporary. 
Besides the ordinary imperium domi of a consul and an extra- 
ordinary imperium (militias) in the provinces, the triumvir had the 
power of making laws and of appointing magistrates, which consti- 
tutionally belonged to the comitia of the people. When peace was 
restored to the world, it might be expected that Cassar would at once 
restore to the people the functions which had been made over to him 
* " L' Empire, c'est la paix," a saying of the third Napoleon. 

31-27 B.C. THE PAX ROMANA. 9 

for a time. It was quite out of the question to restore the state of 
things which had existed before the elevation of Caesar, the Dictator. 
The rule of the senate had been proved to be corrupt and incompetent, 
and annual magistrates were powerless in the face of a body whose 
members held their seats for life. The only way out of the diffi- 
culty was to place the reins of government in the hands of one man. 
This had been done directly in the case of Caesar the father ; and it 
had been the indirect result of the triumvirate in the case of Caesar 
the son. But the latter resolved to establish his supremacy on a 
constitutional basis, and harmonize his sovranty with republican 
institutions. A dictatorship could be created only to meet 
some special crisis ; and a " triumvir to constitute the state " was 
clearly absurd when the state had once been " constituted." 
Neither the office of a dictator nor the powers of the triumvirate 
were theoretically suitable to form the foundation of a permanent 
government ; and the logically-minded Caesar was not likely to 
leave the constitutional shape of his rule undefined or to be 
content with an inconsistent theory. 

He did not, however, at once lay down the triumviral powers 
which had been conferred on him by the Lex Titia (43 B.C.). 
For a year and a half after his triumph he seems to have remained 
a triumvir — or at least in possession of the powers which belonged 
to him as triumvir — but it is not clear how far during that time 
he made use of those unconstitutional rights. He was consul for 
the fifth time in 29 B.C. and again in 28 B.C., and it is probable 
that he acted during these years by his rights as consul, as far 
as possible, and not by his rights as triumvir. There was, however, 
much to be done in Rome and in Italy, that might truly come 
under the name of "constituting the state." Two of the most 
important measures carried out in these years were the increase 
of the patriciate and the reform of the senate. In 30 B.C. a 
law (Lex Ssenia) was passed, enabling Caesar to replenish the ex- 
hausted patrician class by the admission of new families ; and he 
carried out this measure in the following year. In 28 b.c he 
exercised the functions of the censorship, in conjunction with 
Agrippa, who was his colleague in the consulship. They not only 
held a census, but performed a purgation of the senate, and introduced 
some reforms in its constitution.* Caesar also caused all the 
measures which had been taken during the civil wars to be repealed ; 
but the compass and the effect of this act are not quite clear (28 
B.C.). In the same year he marked his intention to return to the 
constitutional forms of the republic by changing the consular fasces, 
according to custom, with his colleague Agrippa, and thus acknow- 
* See below, Chap, IIL § 3. 



Chap, r 

ledging his fellow-consul to be his equal. He also began to restore 
the administration of the provinces to the senate. 

In 27 B.C. Caesar assumed the consulate for the seventh time, and 
Agrippa was again his colleague. Tt seems that he had already 
partly divested himself of his extraordinary powers,* but the time had 
at length come to lay them down altogether, though only to receive 
equivalent power again in a different and more constitutional form. 
On January 13 he resigned in the senate his office as triumvir and 
his proconsular imperium, and for a moment the statement of a 
contemporary writer was literally true, that " the ancient form of 
the republic was recalled." f And thus Csesar could be described on 
coins as " Vindicator of the liberty of the Roman people " (Jibertatis 
P. B. vindex). In the next chapter we shall see in what shape 
Csesar and his councillors, while they nominally restored the 
republic, really inaugurated an empire which was destined to last 
well-nigh fifteen hundred years. 

* In his Res Gestae Augustus describes 
his restoration of the Republic as follows : 
"In my sixth and seventh consulships, 
after I had extinguished the civil wars, 
having by universal consent become lord 
of all, I transferred the republic from 
my power into the hands of the senate 

and the Roman people/' See Note A. at 
end of following chapter. 

f In the speech which Dion Cassius 
puts into his mouth on this occasion, 
Caesar says, " I restore to you the armies 
and the provinces, the revenues and the 
laws " (55. 9). 


POWER IN 29 AND 28 B.C. 

The difficult question as to the legal 
position of Caesar after his triumph, and 
the powers which he held between his 
return to Rome and January 13, 27 B.C., 
has been fully discussed by Herzog (Ge- 
schichte und System der romischen Staats- 
verfassung, ii. p. 130 sqq.). He rejects 
the idea, which one would at first sight 
infer from the statements of our authori- 
ties, that Caesar simply retained the 
powers given him by the Lex Titia, and 
thinks that if he had done so it would 
have seemed a usurpation. (He rightly 
dismisses the view of Dion, that the census 
was performed by virtue of the inherited 
title Imperator, and the divergent state- 
ment of Suetonius, that it was by virtue 
of a perpetual morum legumque regimen, 
specially conferred on him. Augustus 
himself expressly states in his Res Gestae 

that this regimen of manners and laws 
had been offered to him, but refused.) 
His own view is that after the civil war, 
in 29 B.C., the extraordinary powers, which 
Caesar held by the Lex Titia, were legal- 
ised by a new formal act — a law defining 
his imperium consular e, both as extending 
over the provinces and the armies, and as 
constitutive with inclusion of the cen- 
sorial functions. There does not seem to 
be sufficient evidence for this combination, 
which chiefly rests on the expression of 
Augustus {Res Gestae, 6. 13), per consensum 
universorum [potitus rerum omn\ium. 
But whether there was a new lex or not, 
the powers of Caesar in these years were 
the same as those which he possessed as 
triumvir before 29 b.c. 

In regard to the censorial functions 
which he is said by Dion to have exercised 
in 29 B.C., and which he states himself he 
exercised in 28 b.c, there is some diffi- 
culty. Herzog thinks he cannot have 

Chap. i. 



done this as consul; for a census did not 
usually extend over two consular years ; 
and, moreover, Agrippa, who was his 
colleague in the census (Dion, 52. 42), was 
not his colleague in the consulate in 29 
b.c. It seems most simple to suppose 

l that Dion made a mistake about the date, 
and that both the census and the purifi- 
cation of the senate were carried out in 
28 B.C. by the consul* in virtue of the 
censorial power, which in the ancient 
republic was part of the consular office. 

Temple of Mars Ultor. 

Augustus crowned (from the Vienna Cameo). 



§ 1. The- new constitution of Augustus : its first and its final form. 
§ 2. The title princeps. § 3. Constitutional theory of the Principate. 
Consecration. No designation. The Principate elective, not hereditary. 
Mode of election. § 4. Honorary titles. The Princeps has neither 
censorial nor consular power. § 5. £>tyle of the imperial name. 
Imperator. Cd&sar. Augustus. § 6. Insignia and privileges of the 
Princeps. Amici Ccesaris. Comites. 

§ 1. The task which devolved upon Csesar when he had resigned the 
triumvirate and the proconsular power which had been conferred 
on him in 43 B.C., was to restore the republic and yet place its 
administration in the hands of one man, to disguise the monarchy, 
which he already possessed, under a constitutional form, to be a 
second Romulus without being a king. He still held the tribunician 
power which had been given him for life in 36 B.C. 

On January 16, in the year of the city 727, three days after 
Csesar had laid down his extraordinary powers, the Roman Empire 
formally began. Munatius Plancus on that day proposed in the senate 
that the surname Augustus should be conferred on Caesar in recog- 
nition of his services to the state. This name did not bestow any 

27 B.C. 



political power, but it became perhaps the most distinctive and 
significant name of the Emperor. It suggested religious sanctity 
and surrounded the son of the deified Julius with a halo of con- 
secration. The actual power on which the Empire rested, the 
imperium proconsulare, was conferred upon,* or rather renewed for, 
Augustus (so we may now call him) for a period of ten years, but 
renewable after that period. This imperium was of the same kind 
as that which had been given to Pompeius by the Gabinian and 
Manilian laws. The Imperator had an exclusive command over t 
the armies and fleet of the republic, and his u province " included 
all the most important frontier provinces. But this im.perium was 
essentially military ; and Rome and Italy were excluded from its 
sphere. It was therefore insufficient by itself to establish a sovranty, 
which was to be practically a restoration of royalty, while it 
pretended to preserve the republican constitution. The idea of 
Augustus, from which his new constitution derived its special 
character, was to supplement and reinforce the imperium by one of 
the higher magistracies. 

His first plan was to combine the proconsular imperium with the 
consulship.! He was consul in 27 B.C., and he caused himself to 
be re-elected to that magistracy each year for the four folio wmg 
years. The consular imperium, which he thus possessed, gave him 
not only a locus standi in Rome and Italy, but also affected his 
position in the provinces. For if he only held the proconsular impe- 
rium he was merely on a level legally with other proconsular 
governors, although his " province " was far larger than theirs. 
But as consul, his imperium ranked as superior (mains) over that 
of the proconsuls. He found, however, that there were drawbacks 
to this plan. As consul he had a colleague, whose power was 
legally equal ; and this position was clearly awkward for the 
head of the state. Moreover, if one consul was perpetual, the 
number of persons elected to the consulship must be smaller ; and 
consequently there would be fewer men available for those 
offices which were only filled by men of consular rank. The 
consuls too were regarded as in a certain way representative of 
the senate ; and the Emperor, the child of the democracy, might 
prefer to be regarded as representative of the people. His thoughts 
therefore turned to the tribunate, which was specially the magistracy 
of the people. But it would have been more awkward to found 

* But see Note B. at end of this chapter. 

f It is not known whether the imperium 
was renewed for Caesar on the same day 
on which he restored the republic (Janu- 
ary 13) or on January 16, when he received 

the name Augustus. Ovid records the 
whole under January 13, in Fasti,i. 589. 

Redditaque est omnis populo provincia 

Et tuus Augusto nomine dictus avus. 

14 THE PKINCIPATE. Chap. ii. 

supremacy in civil affairs on the authority of one of ten tribunes 
than on the powers of one of two consuls. Accordingly Augustus 
fell back on the tribunicia potestas, which he had retained, but so 
far seems to have made little use of. 

In 23 b.c. he gave up his first tentative plan and made the 
tribunicia potestas, instead of the consulship, which he resigned 
on June 27, the second pillar of his power. The tribunician power 
was his for life, but he now made it annual as well as perpetual, 
and dated from this year the years of his reign. Thus in a very 
narrow sense the Empire might be said to have begun in 23 B.C. ; 
in that year at least the constitution of Augustus received its final 
form. After this year, his eleventh consulship, Augustus held that 
office only twice (5 and 2 B.C.). Subsequent Emperors generally 
assumed it more than once ; but it was rather a distinction for the 
colleague than an advantage for the Emperor. 

But the tribunicia potestas alone was not a sufficient substitute 
for the consume imperium which Augustus had surrendered by. 
resigning ^the consulate. Accordingly a series of privileges and 
rights were conferred upon him by special acts in 23 b.c and the 
following years. He received the right of convening the senate 
when he chose,* and of proposing the first motion at its meetings 
{ius primse relationis). His proconsular imperium was defined as 
" superior " (maius) to that of other proconsuls. He received the 
right of the twelve fasces in Rome, and of sitting between the 
consuls, and thus he was equalised with the consuls in external 
dignity (19 b.c). He probably received too the ius edicendi, that 
is, the power of issuing magisterial edicts.f These rights, conferred 
upon Augustus by separate acts, were afterwards drawn up in a 
single form of law, by which the senate and people conferred them 
on each succeeding Emperor. Thus the constitutional position of 
the Emperor rested on three bases : the proconsular imperium, the 
tribunician potestas, and a special law of investiture with certain 
other prerogatives. 

§ 2. The title imperator expressed only the proconsular and 
military power of the Emperor. The one word which could have 
expressed the sum of all his functions as head of the state, — rex — 
was just the title which Augustus would on no account have 
assumed ; for by doing so he would have thrown off the republican 
disguise which was essential to his position. The key to the 
Empire, as Augustus constituted it, is that the Emperor was a 
magistrate, not a monarch. But a word was wanted, which, with- 
out emphasizing any special side of the Emperor's power should 

* This right, however, might have been I f Perhaps in 19 B.C. (Herzog). 
derived from the tribunician power. I 



indicate his supreme authority in the republic. Augustus chose 
the name princeps * to do this informal duty. The name meant 
" the first citizen in the state " — princeps civitatis — and thus 
implied at once supremacy and equality, quite in accordance with 
the spirit of Augustus' constitution; but did not suggest any 
definite functions. It was purely a name of courtesy. It must 
be carefully distinguished from the title princeps senatus. The 
senator who was first on the list of the conscript fathers, and had 
a right to be asked his opinion first, was called princeps senatus; 
and that position had been assigned to Augustus in 28 b.c. But 
when he or others spoke or wrote of the princeps, they did not 
mean " prince of the senate," but " prince of the Roman citizens." 
The Empire as constituted by Augustus is often called the 
Principate, as opposed to the absolute monarchy into, which it 
developed at a later stage. f The Principate is in fact a stage of 
the Empire ; and it might be said that while Augustus founded 
the Principate, Julius was the true founder of the Empire. 

§ 3. According to constitutional theory, the state was still 
governed under the Principate by the senate and the people. The 
people delegated most of its functions to one man, so that the 
government was divided between the senate and the man who 
represented the people. In the course of time the republican forms 
of the constitution and the magisterial character of the Emperor 
gradually disappeared ; but at first they were clearly marked and 
strictly maintained. The senate possessed some real power; 
assemblies of the people were held ; consuls, prsetors, tribunes, and 
the other magistrates were elected as usual. The Principate was 
not formally a monarchy, but rather a " dyarchy," as German writers 
have called it ; the Princeps and the senate together ruled the 
state. But the fellowship was an unequal one, for the Emperor, 
as supreme commander of the armies, had the actual power. The 
dyarchy is a transparent fiction. The chief feature of the constitu- 
tional history of the first three centuries of the Empire is the 
decline of the authority of the senate and the corresponding growth 
of the powers of the Princeps, until finally he becomes an absolute 
monarch. When this comes to pass, the Empire can no longer 
be described as the Principate. 

* Cp. Horace, Odes, i. 2. 50 : Hie ames 
dici pater atque princeps. In the Eastern 
provinces, princeps was translated by 
■qye/AUiv. But the Emperor was com- 
monly called jSacrtAevg— a title which 
finally became restricted to Roman Em- 
perors and Persian kings. Augustus 
was rendered in Greek by Se/Saoros. 

f Ovid, in a well-known line, distin- 
guishes the Princeps from the Rex (Fasti, 
2, 142) : " tu (Romulus) domini nomen, 
principis ille (Augustus) tenet." 
Augustus disliked to be addressed as 
dominus. On the title Princeps, see Note 
C. at end of chapter. 



Chap. ii. 

The Princeps was a magistrate. His powers were entrusted to 
him by the people, and his position was based on the sovranty of 
the people. Like any other citizen he was bound by the laws, and if 
for any purpose he needed a dispensation from any law, he had to 
receive such dispensation from the senate. He could not be the ob- 
ject of a criminal prosecution ; this, however, was no special privilege, 
but merely an application of the general rule that no magistrate, 
while he is in office, can be called to account by any one except a 
superior magistrate. Hence the Princeps, who held office for life and 
had no superior, was necessarily exempted from criminal prosecution. 
If, however, he abdicated or were deposed, he might be tried in the 
criminal courts. And as Roman Law permitted processes against 
the dead, it often happened that a Princeps was tried in the senate 
after his death, and his memory condemned to dishonour, or his acts 
rescinded. The heavier sentence deprived him of the honour of a 
public funeral and abolished the statues and monuments erected in 
his name ; while the lighter sentence removed his name from those 
Emperors, to whose acts the magistrates swore when they entered 
on their office. When a Princeps was not condemned, and when 
his acts were recognised as valid, he received the honour of 

The claim to consecration after death was a significant 
characteristic of the Principate, derived from Csesar the Dictator. 
He had permitted himself to be worshipped as a god during his life- 
time ; and though no building was set apart for his worship, his 
statue was set up in the temples of the gods, and he had a flamen 
of his own. After his death he was numbered, by a decree of the 
senate and Roman people, among the gods of the Roman state, 
under the name of divus Julius. His adopted son did not venture 
to accept divine worship at Rome during his lifetime ; * he was 
content to be the son of a god, divi filius, and to receive the name 
Augustus, which implied a certain consecration. But like Romulus,^ 
to whom he was fond of comparing himself, he was elevated to the 
rank of the gods after his death. It is worth observing how 
Augustus softened down the bolder designs of Csesar in this as 
in other respects. Csesar would have restored royalty without 
disguise ; Augustus substituted the princeps for the rex. In 
Rome, Csesar was a god during his lifetime ; Augustus the son of 
a god when he lived, a god only after death. 

* The genius Augusti was worshipped 
at street altars in Rome, and he was as- 
sociated with the Lares ; cp. Horace, 
Odes, iv. 5. 34: Et Laribus tuum miscet 
numen. See above, Chap. I. § 4, as to 
the Carmen Saliare. Contemporary poets 

did not scruple to speak of Augustus as a 
god. Thus Horace writes (Odes, iii. 5. 2) : 
Prsesens divus habebitur Augustus ; and 
in another place (Epist., ii. 1. 15) speaks 
of the divine honours offered to him: 
Praesenti tibi maturos largimur honores. 


In one important respect the Principate differed from other 
magistracies. There was no such thing as designation. The 
successor to the post could not be appointed until the post was 
vacant. Hence it follows that, on the death of an Emperor, the 
Empire ceased to exist until the election of his successor; the 
republic was in the hands of the senate and the people during the 
interim, and the initiative devolved upon the consuls. The 
principle " The king is dead, long live the king," had no applica- 
tion in the Eoman Empire. 

As a magistracy, the Principate was elective and not hereditary. 
It might be conferred on any citizen by the will of the sovran 
people; and even women and children were not disqualified by 
their sex and age, as in the case of other magistracies. Two, or 
rather three, acts were necessary for the creation of the Princeps. 
He first received the proconsular imperium and along with it the 
name Augustus ; subsequently the tribunician power ; and also 
other rights defined by the special Law de imperio. But it must be 
clearly understood, that his position as Princeps really depended upon 
the proconsular imperium, which gave him exclusive command 
of all the soldiers of the state. Once he receives it, he is Emperor ; 
the acquisition of the tribunician power is a consequence of the 
acquisition of the supreme power, but is not the supreme power 
itself. The day on which the imperium is conferred (dies imperii) 
marks the beginning of a new reign. 

It is important to observe how the proconsular power was 
conferred on the Princeps. It was, theoretically, delegated by the 
sovran people, but was never bestowed or confirmed by the people 
meeting in the comitia. It was always conferred by the senate, 
which was supposed to act for the people.* When the title Im- 
perator was first conferred by the soldiers, it required the formal 
confirmation of the senate, and until the confirmation took place 
the candidate selected by the soldiers was a usurper. On the 
other hand the Imperator named by the senate, although legitimate, 
had no chance of maintaining his position unless he were also recog- 
nised by the soldiers. 

The position of the new Princeps was fully established when 
he was acknowledged by both the senate and the army. After 
Augustus, the proconsular power of the Princeps was perpetual, 
and it was free from annuity in any form. 

The tribunician power, on the other hand, was conferred by the 

people meeting in comitia. It properly required two separate 

legal acts — a special law defining the powers to be conferred, and 

an election of the person on whom they should be conferred. But 

f See Note B. at end of chapter. 



Chap. ii. 

these acts were combined in one ; and a magistrate, probably one 
of the consuls, brought a rogation before the comitia, both denning 
the powers and nominating the person. The bill of course had 
to come before the senate first, and an interval known as the 
trinum nundinum elapsed between the decrte of the senate and 
the comitia. Hence under the earlier Principate, when such forms 
were still observed, the assumption of the tribunician power takes 
place some time after the dies imperii. The tribunician power was 
conferred for perpetuity, but was formally assumed anew every 
year, so that the Princeps used to count the years of his reign as 
the years of his tribunician power.* 

But though the Empire was thus elective, in reality the choice 
of the new Princeps depended on the senate or the army only in 
the case of revolutions. In settled times the Emperors chose their 
successors, and in their own lifetime caused the objects of their 
choice to be invested with some of the marks or functions of 
imperial dignity. It was but natural that each Emperor should 
try to secure the continuance of the Empire in his own family. 
If he had a son, he was sure to choose him as successor ; if only 
a daughter, her husband or one of her children. If he had neither 
son nor daughter of his own, he usually adopted a near kinsman. 
Thus the Empire, though always theoretically elective, practically 
tended to become hereditary ; and it came to be recognised that 
near kinship to an Emperor founded a reasonable claim to the 
succession. This feature was present from the very outset; for the 
founder of the Empire himself had first assumed his place on the 
political stage as the son and heir of Julius, and no one was more 
determined or strove harder to found a dynasty than Augustus. 

§ 4. Augustus assumed other functions and titles (as well as the 
proconsular imperium and the tribunician potestas), but they had no 
place in the theory of the imperial constitution. He was named by 
the " senate, the knights and the people," pater patriae, (2 B.C.), and 
subsequent Emperors regularly received this title.f He was elected 
Pontifex Maximus by the people in 12 B.C. (March 6) after the 
death of Lepidus, who had been allowed to retain that office 
when he was deprived of his triumviral power. Henceforward 
the Chief Pontificate was always held by the Emperors, and formed 

* The tribunician year of the Republic 
began on the 10th December ; but the 
imperial tribunician year counted from the 
day on which it was bestowed, until the 
end of the first century a.d., when the old 
republican practice was introduced. The 
ordinal y system of dating the year by the 
consuls (from Jan. 1) was so much more 

practical that it continued in general use. 
f This title was first given to Cicero in 
the senate by Catulus. Cp. Juvenal, viii. 
244 : Roma patrem patriae Ciceronem libera 
duxit. But there is no historical con- 
nection between the imperial title and the 
compliment paid to Cicero. Livy ascribe 
the title to Romulus. 


one of their standing titles. Augustus also belonged to other 
religious colleges. He was not only Pontifex ; he was also a 
septemvir, a quindecimvir and an augur ; he was enrolled among 
the Fetiales, the Arvales and the Titii* 

Augustus was not a censor, nor did he, as Emperor, possess the 
powers of the censor's office, although he sometimes temporarily 
assumed them. The reason why he refrained from assuming 
these powers permanently is obvious. It was his aim to preserve 
the form of a republic and to maintain the senate as an indepen- 
dent body. One of the chief functions of the censors was to revise 
the list of senators ; they had the power of expunging members 
from that body and electing new ones. It is clear that if the 
Emperor possessed the rights of a censor, he would have direct 
control over the senate, and it would no longer be even nominally 

In 28 b.c, as we have seen, Augustus and Agrippa held a census 
as consuls, by virtue of the censorial power which originally belonged 
to the consular office. And on the two subsequent occasions on 
which Augustus held a census, once by himself (8 B.C.) and once 
in conjunction with Tiberius (14 A.r>.), he did not assume the title 
of censor, but caused consular power to be conferred on him tempo- 
rarily by the senate. In 22 b.c the people proposed to bestow on 
Augustus the censorship for life, but he refused the offer, and caused 
Paullus iEmiiius Lepidus and Munatius Plancus to be appointed 
censors. This was the last occasion on which two private citizens 
were colleagues in that office. Three times f it was proposed to 
Augustus to undertake as a perpetual office "the regulation of 
laws and manners " (morum legumque regimen), but he invariably 
refused. Such an institution would have been as openly subversive 
of republican government as royalty or the dictatorship. Neverthe- 
less some of the functions of the censor, and especially the census 
equitum, seem from the very first to have fallen within the 
competence of the Princeps. 

It should be specially observed that the Princeps did not possess 
consular power, as is sometimes erroneously stated. Occasionally 
it was decreed to him temporarily for a special purpose, but it did 
not belong to him as Princeps. J 

§ 5. While the Emperor avoided the names rex and dictator, he 
distinguished himself from ordinary citizens by a peculiar 
arrangement of his personal name. (1) All the Emperors from 
Augustus to Hadrian, with three exceptions, § dropped the name of 

* These lesser offices do not appear in 
his titles. 
f 19, 18, and 11 B.C. 

% See Note B. at end of chapter. 
$ Claudius, Nero, and Vitellius. 



Chap. n. 

their gens. (2) They never designated the tribe to which they 
belonged. (3) Most of them adopted the title Imperator as a 
prsenomen. This designation had been first used as a constant 
title by Csesar the Dictator, beinz placed immediately after his name 
and preceding all other titles. Thus it might have been regarded 
as a second cognomen ; and the younger Caesar claimed it as part of 
his father's name, and, to make this clear, adopted it as a prsenomen 
instead of his own praenomen Graius. 

All the agnate descendants of the dictator bore the name Caesar, 
which was a cognomen of the Julian gens. But when the house of 
the Julian Caesars came to an end on the death of the Emperor 
Gains, his successor Claudius assumed the cognomen Csesar, and this 
example was followed by subsequent dynasties. Thus Caesar came 
to be a conventional cognomen of the Emperor and his house. 

Augustus was a title of honour ; it did not, like imperator or 
consul, imply an office, and hence an Emperor's wife could receive 
the title Augusta. But it was not, like Csesar, hereditary ; it had 
to be conferred by the senate or people. At the same time it 
was distinctly a cognomen ; and it has clung specially to him who 
first bore it' as a personal name. It was always assumed by his 
successors along with the actual power ; and it seemed to express 
that, while the various parts of the Emperor's power were in their 
nature collegial, there could yet only be one Emperor. 

In much later times Augustus and Csesar were distinguished as 
greater and lesser titles. The Emperor bore the name Augustus; 
while he whom the Emperor chose to succeed to the throne was 
a Caesar. Moreover, there might be more than one Augustus, and 
more than one Csesar. 

We must carefully distinguish two different uses of Imperator in 
the titulary style of the Emperors. (1) As a designation of the 
proconsular imperium, it was placed, as we have already seen, 
before the name as a prsenomen. (2) Imp. with a number, 
standing among the titles after the name, meant that he had been 
greeted as imperator so many times by the soldiers in consequence 
of victories. Yet the two uses were regarded as closely connected. 
For the investiture with the proconsular imperium was regarded as 
the first acquisition of the name Imperator, so that on the first 
victory after his accession the Emperor designated himself as 
imperator ii. 

The order of names in the imperial style is worthy of notice.* In 
the case of the early Emperors, Csesar comes after the name ; for 

* The full title of Augustus in the last 
year of his reign (14 A.D.)was as follows: 
Imp. Caesar Divi F(ilius) Augustus, 

Pontif. Max., Cos. xiii., Imp. xx., 
Tribunic. Potestat. xxxvii., P(ater) 



example, Imp. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus. With Vespasian 
begins a new style, in which Csesar generally precedes the propei 
cognomen ; thus, Imp. Ca3sar Yespasianus Augustus. Augustus 
retained its place at the end. 

§ 6. The Princeps had the right of appearing publicly at all 
seasons in the purple-edged tog,a of a magistrate. On the occasion 
of solemn festivals, he used to wear the purple gold-broidered toga, 
which was worn by victorious generals in triumphal procession-. 
And although in Italy he did not possess the imperium militiss, he 
had the right to wear the purple paludamentum (purpura) of the 
Imperator even in Eome, but this was a privilege of which early 
Emperors seldom availed themselves. The distinctive headdress 
of the Princeps was a laurel wreath. As Imperator he wore the 
sword ; but the sceptre only in triumphal processions. Both in 
the senate-house and elsewhere, he sat on a sella curulis; and he 
was attended by twelve lictors, like the other chief magistrates. 
His safety was provided for by a bodyguard, generally consisting 
of German soldiers ; and one cohort of the prastorian guards was 
constantly stationed at his palace. 

Under the Republic the formula of public oaths was couched in 
the name of Jupiter and the Penates of the Roman people. Ca^ar 
the Dictator added his own genius, and this fashion was followed 
under the Principate. The oath was framed in the name of 
Jupiter, those Emperors who had become divine after death, 
the genius of the reigning Emperor,* and the Penates. The Princeps 
also had the privilege of being included in the vota or prayers for 
the welfare of the state, which it was customary to ofjpr up in the 
first month of every year.f And it was regarded as treason to 
encroach on either of these privileges — to swear by the genius, or 
offer public vows for the safety, of any other than the Emperor. 
After the battle of Actium, the birthday of Augustus had been 
elevated to a public feast; and hence it became the custom to 
celebrate publicly the birthday of every reigning Emperor, and also 
the day of his accession. 

Like other men of distinction, the Princeps gave morning 
receptions, which, however, differed from those of private persons, 
in that every person who wished, provided he was of sufficiently 
high rank, was admitted. It was part of the policy of Augustus to 
treat men of his own rank as peers, and in social intercourse to 

* For example, an oath in the reign of 
Domitian runs thus : per Jovem et divom 
Augustum et divom Claudium et divom 
Vespasianum Augustum et divom Titum 
Augustum et genium imp. Caesaris Do- 

mitiani Augusti deosque Penates. The 
Greek word corresponding to genius is 

f The day was finally fixed as January 3, 

22 THE PKINCIPATE. Chap. ii. 

behave merely as an aristocrat among fellow-aristocrats. There 
was formally no such thing as court etiquette, and the Emperor's 
Palatium was merely a private house. But the political difference 
which set the Princeps above all his fellow- citizens could not fail 
to have its social consequences, however much Augustus wished to 
seem a peer among peers. Those persons, whom Augustus 
admitted to the honour of his friendship — and they belonged 
chiefly to the senatorial, in a few cases to the equestrian ranks — 
came to form a distinct, though not officially recognised, body 
under the name amid Ccesaris, " friends of Caesar." From this 
circle he selected his comites or " companions," the retinue which 
accompanied him when he travelled in the provinces. The amid 
were expected to attend the morning receptions, and were greeted 
with a kiss. They wore a ring with the image of the Emperor. 
They were received in some order of precedence; and gradually 
they came to be divided into classes, according to their intimacy 
with the Emperor ; and admission into the circle of amid became 
a formal act. To lose the position of a " friend " of Caesar entailed 
consequences equivalent to exile. Invitations to dine with the 
Emperor were also probably limited to the amid. Thus at the very 
beginning of the Principate there were the elements of the elaborate 
system of court ceremonial which was developed in later centuries. 
The position of the comites was more definitely marked out. They 
received allowances, and had special quarters in the camp. They 
had also precedence over provincial governors. The distinction of 
having been a comes of Caesar is often mentioned on inscriptions 
among official honours. 

It was not lawful under the free commonwealth to set up in any 
public place the image of a living man. The image of the Princeps 
might be set up anywhere ; and there were two cases in which it 
was obligatory that it should appear, nafnely in military shrines, 
along with the eagle and the standards, and on coins. Sometimes 
it appeared on the standards themselves. In regard to coinage, 
Augustus held fast the royal privilege which had been accorded 
by the senate to Caesar (in 44 B.C.); and the right of being re- 
presented on the money of the realm was exclusively reserved for 
the Emperor, or those members of the imperial house on whom he 
might choose to confer it. 

Chap. n. 





If we had not the statement of Augus- 
tus himself (in the words quoted in note, 
p. 10), we should have supposed, from the 
statements of other writers, that the 
surrender of all his extraordinary powers 
took place on Jan. 13, B.C. 27. But as he 
expressly says, " in my sixth and seventh 
consulships," the act of 27 B.C. can have 
only been partial, and must have been 
preceded by another act of partial sur- 
render in 28 b.c. Herzog seems to think 
that in mentioning his sixth consulship 
Augustus is only thinking of his revival 
of the form of exchanging fasces with the 
other consul. It might also be suggested 
that he meant the annulling of the 
arbitrary acts of the triumvirate. Momm- 
sen discusses the question in his edition of 
the Res Gestae, and calls attention (p. 149) 
to the evidence of a coin (Eckhel, 6, 83) 
that Augustus had begun the restoration 
of the provinces (had actually restored 
Asia) to the senate in 28 B.C. Perhaps 
this fact is sufficient to explain the 
Emperor's language. But one might 
venture to conjecture that in 28 b.c. 
Augustus resigned the constitutive 
powers which belonged to him as trium- 
vir — this act might have been marked, 
among other things, by the exchange 
of the fasces — but retained the procon- 
sular imperium ; and that the act of 27 
b.c. was the surrender of that imperium 
only. The formal statement of Augustus 
seems to imply two definite acts. 


The question arises, of what elements 
did the Principate consist in its first pre- 
liminary stage between 27 and 23 b.c. ? 
It is generally agreed that the proconsular 
imperium was the most important element 
then as later. We know also that the 
consulate played a chief part in the con- 
stitutional position of Augustus at this 
time ; for, besides the fact of the iteration 
of the consulate each year, we have the 
express testimony of Tacitus (Annals, 
1, 2 : posito triumviri nomine consulem se 
f evens'). But it is not clear whether he 

based his civil position on the consulate 
alone. For it is conceivable that in these 
years too he may have made constitu- 
tional use of the tribunicia potestas, 
though not in the same measure in which 
he afterwards used it. Again, it is un- 
known whether he interpreted the power 
which he possessed as consul In the 
sense of the early Republic, as involving 
censorial power, or in the sense of the 
later Republic as not involving it. Thus 
there are several conceivable alternatives. 
The Principate, as constitute d in 27 B.C., 
may have been based on 

(1). The proconsular imperium, and 

(2). The proconsular imperium, and 
consulate, and censorial power. 

(3). The proconsular imperium, and 
consulate and tribunician power. 

(4). The proconsular imperium, and 
consulate, and censorial power, and 
tribunician power. 

If Augustus adopted either (2) or (4), 
he must have afterwards, by 23 b.c, seen 
that the assumption of censorial power 
made the formally independ- nt position 
of the senate illusory, and accordingly 
abandoned it. On the whole it seems 
probable that he did not claim censorial 
power in these years, and that the trib. 
pot. was kept quite in the background. 
(See note at end of Chap. I.) 

It is not superfluous to point out the 
old error — refuted by Mommsen and 
now generally abandoned — that Augustus 
possessed the potestas consularu for life,' 
and that this was an integral part of the 
Principate. This mistake was due to 
Dion Cassius (liv. 10), who probably mis- 
int< rpreted a decree which granted to 
Augustus the right of wearing i he consu- 
lar insignia, a totally different matter. 
Or the expression " consular power " may 
have been used by him to designate cer- 
tain consular powers, which had been 
specially granted to Augustus, as the 
ius edicendi, the right of convening the 
senate, &c. The silence of the Monumen- 
tum Ancyranum, as Mommsen has pointed 
out, is conclusive, and no later Emperor 
ever claimed the potestas consularis. 

The account given in this chapter of the 
Constitution of the Principate rests mainly 



Chap. ii. 

on the exposition in Mommsen's St^ats- 
recht (vol. ii.), but with some modifica- 
tions. The views of Herzog (Geschichte 
und System der romischen Staa'sver- 
fassung, vol. ii.) have been carefully- 
studied. A somewhat different, and per- 
haps simpler, reconstruction of the first 
form of the Principate has been expounded 
by Mr. H. F. Pelham (Journal of Philo- 
logy, xvii., and article Princeps in Smith's 
Diet, of Greek and Roman Antiq.), and 
must be set forth in his own words : 

In January 27 B.C., "by a vote of the 
senate and people, he (Cstsar) was legally 
reinvested with the essential elements 
of his former authority. He was given a 
command, limited indeed both in area and 
duration, but which yet in both points 
was unprecedentedly wide. . . . But had 
Octavian rested content with this ' consu- 
lare imperium' alone, he would have 
been merely a powerful proconsul. . . . 
He would have been only the equal and 
not the superior of the proconsular gover- 
nors of the provinces not included within 
the area of his own imperium. N or could 
the old difficulties arising from the separa- 
tion between the chief military command 
abroad, and the highest magistracies at 
home, have failed to reappear. These 
disadvantages and difficulties Octavian 
escaped by retaining the consulship and 
wielding his imperium as consul. . . . 
It was a return, in a sense, to the practice 
of the early republic, when the consuls 
were at once the highest civil and the 
highest military authorities of the state." 
According to this view, the Principate 
was, in its first form, based entirely on 
the consulship. As to the arrangement 
of 23 B.C., Mr. Pelham proceeds: 

" But in b.c. 23 a change was made 
which gave to the principate a some- 
what different shape. ... On June 27 in 
that year, Augustus laid down the consul- 
ship His 'consulare imperium,' 

with its wide province, he still retained, 
but he now held it only pro-consule ; and 
it therefore ceased at once to be valid in 
Rome and Italy, i.e. within the sphere 
assigned to the actual consuls. He further 
lost both the precedence (maius impe- 
rium) over all other magistrates and pro- 
magistrates which a consul enjoyed, and 
the various rights in connection with 
senate and assembly attached to the con- 
sulship. He had, lastly, no further claim 
to the consular dignity and insignia.' 
These losses were made good by a number 

of special measures ; but unwilling to 
rest his position in Rome on the pro- 
consular imperium, Augustus "brought 
forward into special prominence his tri- 
ouniciapotestas. . . . As if to conceal the 
startling fact, that there was now in 
Rome, by the side of the annual consuls, 
a holder of consular imperium, fully their 
equal in rank and power at home, and 
vested besides with a wide command 
abroad, the tribunicia potestas was put 
forward as the outward sign and symbol 
at least in Rome, of the pre-eminence of 
the princeps." 


It used to be thought that Princeps, as 
a name of the Emperor, meant princeps 
senatus. This view is now generally 
abandoned. It was shown very clearly 
by Mr. H. F. Pelham (Journal of Phi- 
lology, viii. 323) that Princeps stands for 
Princeps Oivitatis, a term whicu was 
applied by Cicero to Pompey. Princeps 
alone, was also applied by Cicero both to 
Pompey and to Csesar (cp. adAtt., 8. 9. 4, 
and ad Fam., 6. 6. 5), and by Sallust to 
Pompey. This view is held by both 
Mommsen and Schiller. 

Herzog, however (Gesch. u. Syst. der 
rom. Staatsv., ii. 134), thinks that the 
imperial title princeps was originally 
derived from the formal title princeps 
senatus and gradually gained a wider 
sense. He compares the extension of the 
term princeps iuventutis, which from 
meaning merely the foremost of the 
knights came to have the secondary 
meaning of the "heir apparent" (for 
which see below, Chap. IV. $ 6). 


There is extant on a large bronze 
tablet, which Cola di Rienzi caused to be 
fixed up in the Church of St. John in the 
Lateran, part of a law conferring upon 
Vespasian certain sovran rights, which 
had been before conferred upon his pre- 
cessors. The statute was evidently 
drawn up according to a fixed formula, 
and is clearly an embodiment of the 
special measures which were passed in 
favour of Augustus in 23 b.c. and follow- 
ing years. This law is designated by 
jurists as the lex de imperio or the lex regia. 
Mommsen identifies it with the lex which 

Chap. n. 



invested the Emperors with the tribunicia 
potestas, supposing that the sphere of that 
potestas was defined and extended by a 
number of special clauses. This seems 
very doubtful. As Herzog observes, it is 
hardly conceivable that a jurist would 
designate a law conferring trib. pot. 
(however amply extended) as a lex de 
imperio, as imperium and tribunician 
potestas are legally quite distinct con- 
ceptions. It seems far more likely that 
this lex vested the Princeps with a num- 
ber of rights which were not given by his 
proconsular imperium and by his tri- 
bunician power (cp. Herzog, op. cit. t ii. 
617-619; and Pelham, Diet. Ant, ii. 

The fragment of this highly important 
document (Corp. Inscr. Lat., vi. No. 930, 
p. 167) runs as follows : 

"fcedusve cum quibus volet facere 
liceat, ita uti licuit divo Aug(usto), 
Ti(berio) Iulio Csesari Aug(usto 
Tiberioque Claudio Csesari Aug(usto) 
Germanico ; 

utique ei senatum habere, relatio- 
nem facere, remittere, senatus con- 
sulta per relationem discessionemque 
facere liceat, ita uti licuit divo 
Aug(usto), Ti(berio) Iulio Csesari 
Aug(usto), Ti(berio) Claudio Csesari 
Augusto Germanico ; 

utique, cum ex voluntate auctori- 
tateve iussu mandatuve eius prsesen- 
teve eo senatus habebitur, omnium 
rerum ius perinde habeatur, servetur, 
ac si e lege senatus edictus esset 
habereturque ; 

utique quos magistratum, potesta- 
tem, imperium curationemve cuius 
rei petentes senatui populoque Ro- 
mano commendaverit, quibusue suf- 
fragationem suam dederit, promi- 
serit, eorum comitis quibusque extra 
ordinem ratio habeatur ; 

utique ei fines pomerii proferre, 
promovere, cum ex re publica cense- 
bit esse, liceat ita uti licuit Ti(berio) 
Claudio Csesari Aug(usto) Germanico ; 
utique, qusecumque ex usu reipub- 
licse, maiestate divinarum, huma[na]- 
rum, publicarum privatarumque re- 
rum esse censebit, ei agere, facere ius 
potestasque sit, ita uti divo Aug- 
(usto) liberioque Iulio Csesari Aug- 
(usto) Tiberioque Claudio Csesari 
Aug(usto) Germanico fuit ; 

utique quibus legibus plebeive 
scitis scriptum fuit ne divus Augus- 

tus) Tiberiusve Iulius Csesar Augus- 
tus Tiberiusque Claudius Csesar Aug- 
ustus) Germanicus tenerentur, iis 
legibus plebisque scitis imp(erator) 
( sesar Vespasianus solutus sit, 
quseque ex quaque lege, rogatione 
divum lAug(ustum) Tiberiumve Iu- 
lium Csesarem Aug(ustum), Tiberi-^ 
umve Claudium Csesarem Aug(us- 
tum) Germanicum facere oportuit, ea 
omnia imp(eratori) Csesari Yespasiano 
Aug(usto) facere liceat ; 

utique quse ante hanc legem roga- 
tam acta, gesta decreta imperata ab 
imperatore Csesare Vespasiano Aug- 
usto) iussu mandatuve eius a quoque 
sunt, ea perinde iusta rataq(ue) sint 
ac si populi plebisve iussu acta 

Sanctio : 
Si quis huiusce legis ergo adversus 
leges rogationes plebisve scita sena- 
tusve consulta fecit, fecerit, sive, 
quod eum ex lege rogatione plebisve 
scito s(enatus)ve c(onsulto) facere 
oportebit non fecerit huius legis ergo, 
id ei ne fraudi esto neve quit ob 
earn rem populo dare debeto, neve 
cui de ea re actio neve iudicatio esto 
neve quis de ea re apud [s]e agi sinito. " 

In stating that the proconsular im- 
perium was conferred exclusively by 
the senate, and could not be conferred by 
the army, I have adopted the view whicii 
is well defended by Herzog (Gesch. und 
Syst. der rd'm. Staatsverfassung, ii. 610, 
sq.). Mommsen's view, on the contrary, is 
that the imperium could legitimately 
be conferred either by the army or by the 
senate ; in fact that the act merely con- 
sisted in the assumption of ihe title of 
Jmperator by any person called upon to 
assume it by either the senate or the 
troops ; the senate or troops being sup- 
posed equally to represent the people, 
and the election by the senate being merely 
preferred as more convenient and condu- 
cive to the interests of the commonwealth , 
But the evidence seems to show that the 
proclamation as Imperator and the 
assumption of that title constituted a 
distinct act from the acquisition of the 
proconsular imperium. When the sol- 
diers proclaimed a commander imperator, 



Chap, il 

he became thereby a candidate for the 
Empire ; but he was not an Emperor, he 
was not a Princeps, nntil he received from 
the senate the proconsular imperium ; 

and when the proconsular imperium was 
granted the tribunician power followed as 
a matter of course. (Cp. Plutarch, Galba, 
10; Dion, 63. 25 ; Victor, Cses. 37.) 


Head of livia (from the Museum at Naples). 



1. The proconsular imperium and the tribunician power. § 2. Political 
rights which remained to the people. § 3. Constitution of the senate. 
Princeps senatus. Curator actorum senatus. Senatorial committees. 
§ 4. Character of the Dyarchy. § 5. Division of power between 
Emperor and senate : (1) administrative, (2) judicial, (3) in election 
of magistrates, (4) legislative (senatusconsulta, edicta, acta), (5) finan- 
cial (taxes, coinage). The senate as an organ of the government, for 
publication. § 6. Magistracies under the Empire. § 7. The ordo 
equester as revised by Augustus: (1) its constitution, (2) mode of 
admission, (3) tenure for life, (4) the equitum probatio, (5) military 
organisation, (6) privileges of knights, (7) their service as officers, 
(8) their service on the judicial benches ; the four decurise of iudices, 


(9) division of offices in the state between knights and senators, 

(10) elevation of knights to the senate. 

Sect. I. — Political Position of the Pkinceps. The People. 

§ 1. In the last chapter it was shown how Augustus established 
the Principate, and we became acquainted with the constitutional 
theory of this new phase of the Roman republic, which was really 
a disguised monarchy. We also learned the titles and insignia 
which were the outward marks of the ambiguous position of the 
monarch who affected to be a private citizen. It remains now to 
examine more closely his political powers, and see how the govern- 
ment of the state was divided between the Princeps and the senate 
according to the system of Augustus. 

The proconsular imperium of the Emperor differed from that of 
the ordinary proconsul in three ways. Firstly, the entire army 
stood under the direct command of the Emperor. Secondly, his 
imperium was not limited (except in the case of Augustus himself) 
to a special period. It was given for life. And thirdly, it not 
only extended directly over a far larger space— the Emperor's 
" province " including a multitude of important provinces — than that 
of an ordinary proconsul, but being mains or superior above that of 
all others, it could be applied in the senatorial provinces which 
they governed ; and thus it really extended over the whole empire. 
As a consequence ot his exclusive military command, it devolved 
upon the Emperor exclusively to pay the troops, to appoint officers, 
to release soldiers from service.* The soldiers took the military 
oath of obedience to him. He alone possessed the right of levying 
troops, and anyone who levied troops without an imperial com- 
mand, committed an act of treason. He granted all military 
honours except triumphs and the triumphal ornaments. Moreover, 
while an ordinary proconsul lost his imperium on leaving his 
district, the Emperor lived in Eome without surrendering the 
imperium, although Pome and Italy were excepted from its 
operation. The Emperor possessed also supreme command at sea, 
and had the praetorian guards, formed of Italian volunteers, at his 
disposal, as a stationary garrison at Home. In connection with the 
proconsular power is the sovran right which the Emperor possessed 
of making war and peace ; but this was probably conferred upon 
Augustus by a special enactment, and was afterwards one of the 
prerogatives defined by the Lex de imperio. 

The rights which the Princeps derived from the tribunician 
power, as such, were as follows : (1) He had the right to preside on 

* Hence veterans were called in later times veterani Augusti. 


the bench of the tribunes of the people. (2) He had the right of 
intercession, — which he often practised against decrees of the 
Senate. (3) He possessed the tribunician coercitio. His person 
was inviolable; and not only an injury, but any indignity in act 
or speech offered to him was punishable. (4) He had also the 
right to interfere for the prevention of abuses, and to protect the 
oppressed. (5) It is possible that his power to initiate legislation 
may partly come under this head. 

Besides these powers springing from the tribunician potestas, the 
Princeps possessed, as we have seen, other prerogatives defined by 
the Lex de imperio. 

§ 2. Though the sovran people was now represented by the 
Princeps, it had still some political duties to perform itself. The 
popular assemblies still met, elected magistrates, and made laws. 
The following points are to be observed. 

(i) Augustus formally deprived the people of the judicial powers 
which had belonged to it. 

(2) The comitia tributa continued to be a legislative assembly, 
and the right of making laws was never formally taken away from 
it. But by indirect means, as will presently be explained, legis- 
lation almost entirely passed into the hands of the Emperor ; and 
after the reign of Tiberius laws were not made by the comitia. 
For a long time, however, the form of conferring the tribunician 
power in an assembly of the people, was maintained. The as- 
sembly for this purpose was called comitia tribunicise potestatis. 

(3) The election of magistrates was the most important function of 
the popular assemblies under Augustus. Constitutionally, the consuls 
and prsetors were elected in the comitia of the centuries, while the 
tribunes, asdiles and quaestors were chosen in the comitia of the 
tribes. But after the foundation of the Empire the distinction 
between the comitia centuriata and the comitia tributa seems to 
have disappeared ; and it is only safe to speak generally of "an 
assembly of the people." 

The chief function of the comitia curiata had been to pass leges 
de imperio ; and there was room for it to exercise its powers on 
the five or six occasions on which the proconsular imperium was 
conferred on Augustus. But it is not clear whether on these 
occasions an assembly of the people was consulted at all; much 
less whether, if so, the assembly took the special form of a curiate 

But whatever may have been the theory, and however tenderly 
republican forms were preserved by Augustus, the people practically 
lost all its political power. And this was quite right. In ancient 
times, before the introduction of representative government, popular 


assemblies worked very well for governing a town and a small 
surrounding territory, but were quite unsuitable for directing or 
deciding the policy of a great empire. Moreover, with extended 
franchise, it was impossible that all those who were entitled to 
vote in the assemblies could avail themselves of the privilege ; and, 
as a matter of fact, the comitia in the later republic were chiefly 
attended by the worst and least responsible voters, and were often 
the scenes of riot and bloodshed. 

Sect. II. — The Princeps and Senate. 

§ 3. The government of the Empire was divided between the 
Emperor and the senate, and the position of the senate was a very 
important one. Augustus made some changes in its constitution. 
The number of the senate had been raised by Julius Caesar to nine 
hundred; Augustus reduced it again to six hundred. He also fixed 
the property qualification for senators at 1,000,000 sesterces 
(about £8,000). Those who had held the office of quaestor had, 
as under the Republic, the right of admission to the order, and the 
age was definitely fixed at twenty-five. The senatorial classes 
were still determined by official rank (consulars, praetorians, &c). 
Thus the constitution of the senate formally depended on the 
people, as the people elected the magistrates. The influence of the 
Emperor, however, was exerted in two ways. (1) The Emperor 
was able to influence the election of magistrates in the popular 
assembly (see below, § 5 (2) ), and (2) he could assume the powers 
of censor, and perform a lectio senatus. Augustus purified the 
senate on several occasions.* The censor, or he who possessed 
the censorial power, under the Principate — always (after 22 B.C.), 
though not necessarily, the Princeps himself with or without a 
colleague — could not only place by adlectio a non-senator in the 
senate ; but could assign him a place in a rank higher than the 
lowest. In fact, adlection among the quaes tor ians (the lowest class) 
was uncommon ; adlection either into the tribunician or into the 
praetorian class was the rule. Adlection into the highest rank 
of all, the consulates, was practised by Caesar the Dictator, but 
not by Caesar the first Princeps or any of his successors up to the 
third century. When it became usual, as it did before the death 
of Augustus, to elect half-yearly instead of annual consuls, the 
influence which the Emperor could exert at the elections gave him 
much of the power which Caesar the Dictator exerted by adlectio 
inter consulares. A list of the senate was made up every year. 

* See above, Chap. II. $ 8. 


The Emperor also exerted a great influence on the constitution 
of the senate in another way. Admission to the senate in the 
ordinary course depended on the quaestorship ; and the quaestorship 
depended on the vigintivirate. The rule was that only those who 
belonged to the senatorial rank could be candidates for the 
vigintivirate. Here adlection could not come in ; but the Emperor 
assumed the right of admitting as candidates for the vigintivirate 
persons outside the senatorial class, by bestowing upon them the 
latus clavus. Thus a young knight, not born of a senatorial family, 
might, by the Emperor's favour, enter on a senatorial career and 
become a member of the senate. The poet Ovid, who by birth 
belonged to the equestrian order, is a well-known example. The 
Emperor seems to have also had the power of granting a dispensa- 
tion which allowed persons who had not been vigintiviri to become 
quaestors. It should be observed that in the senatorial career 
(cursus honorum) military service (generally for a year in one 
legion) was necessary. The usual steps were (1) vigintivirate, 
(2) military tribunate,* (3) quaestorship, (4) aedileship or tribunate, 
(5) praetorship, (6) consulate. Hence the vigintiviral offices are 
called by Ovid " the first offices of tender age." f 

The Princeps was himself not only a senator, but the " Prince of 
the senate ;" his name stood first on the list of senators, and he 
possessed the right of voting first. He did not, however, adopt 
princeps senatus as one of his titles, as it was his policy rather to 
distinguish himself from than to identify himself with the senate. 
Special clauses of the lex de imperio conferred upon him further 
rights in regard to the transactions of that body. He had the 
rights of summoning the senate — a right which he might have 
claimed by virtue of the tribunician power itself, — and of intro- 
ducing bills (relatio) either orally or, in case of his absence, by 
writing, the proposal being couched in the form of an oratio (or 
litterx) ad senatum. His tribunician power gave him the right, 
as we have already seen, of cancelling senatusconsulta. The 
reports of the transactions in the curia were always laid before 
Augustus when he was not present himself, and he appointed a 
special officer, as his representative, to see that the reports were 
drawn up in full and nothing important omitted. This officer was 
called curator actorum (or ab actis) Senatus. 

Augustus introduced the practice of forming senatorial committees 
to consult beforehand, in conjunction with himself, on measures 
which were to come before the senate. They consisted of one 
magistrate from each college and fifteen senators chosen by lot every 

* See below, $ 1, (7). 

f Tristia, v. 10. 33 : Tenene primos setatis honores. 


six months, and formed a sort of " cabinet council." In the last 
year of his life, when, owing to his weakness and advanced age, he 
could no longer appear in the curia, a small senate was empowered 
to meet in his house and pass resolutions in the name of the whole 
senate. This body consisted of his son, his two grandsons, the 
consuls in office and the consuls designate, twenty senators chosen 
for a year, and other senators whom the Emperor himself selected 
for each sitting. This political consilium was no part of the 
constitution, and was in fact, under the early Principate, only 
adopted by Augustus himself and his successor Tiberius. It must 
be carefully distinguished from the judicial consilium, which will 
be mentioned below. 

§ 4. It has been already mentioned that the joint rule of the 
Empire by the Emperor and the senate is sometimes called a 
dyarchy. It was a dyarchy that might at any moment become 
openly, as it was virtually, a monarchy. For the Emperor 
possessed the actual power through his control of the army, and ii 
he had chosen to exert force he might have destroyed the political 
existence of the senate. But the change of the dyarchy into 
a monarchy was wrought gradually, and was partly due to the 
incompetence of the senate, which invited the interference of the 
sovrans. The maius imperium was changed by degrees into the 
direct rule of those provinces which were not part of the Emperor's 
proconsular " province." But Augustus was thoroughly in earnest 
in giving to the senate a distinct political position and substantial 
powers. He carefully abstained from interfering in the provinces 
which were not within his imperium. He was a man of com- 
promise, and the constitution which he framed was intended to 
be a compromise between the democratic monarchy, which as 
the son of Julius he really represented, and the aristocracy. He 
was anxious to wipe out the memory of the civil wars and to 
have it forgotten that he had been the champion of the democracy. 
While he continued to bear the name of the divine Julius, he seems 
not to have cared to dwell on the acts of the great Dictator ; and it 
has often been noticed how rarely the poets of the Augustan age 
celebrate the praises of Julius Ceesar. We may safely say that no 
statesman has ever surpassed Augustus in the art of withholding 
from political facts their right names. 

There are many points in the Augustan system which are not 
plain in their constitutional bearings. But the general lines are clear 
enough. The careful balancing between the rights and duties of 
the two political powers produced some artificial arrangements 
which could not last, and which were soon altered, either formally 
or tacitly, at the expense of the senate. But the main principle of 


the system founded by Augustus — the fiction of the independent and 
co-ordinate government of the senate— was not entirely abandoned 
for three centuries. 

§ 5. The division of the labours and privileges of government 
between the senate and the Emperor may be considered under five 
heads : administration, jurisdiction, election of magistrates, legis- 
lation, and finances. 

(i) Most of the administrative functions, which the senate dis- 
charged under the Republic, especially in its later period, did not 
belong to that body by constitutional right, but were acquired at 
the expense of the supreme magistrates, to whom they truly 
belonged. Many of these powers were confirmed to it under the 

a. The powers which the senate had exercised in the sphere of 
religion, such as the suppression of foreign or profane rites, it con- 
tinued to exercise in the imperial period. 

b. The rights of making war and peace, and negotiating with 
foreign pov, ers, were taken away from the senate ; but in unim- 
portant cases the Emperor sometimes referred foreign embassies to 
that body. 

c. The authority of the senate in the affairs of Italy continued 

d. The affairs of Rome were at first entirely under the manage- 
ment of the senate, but the incompetent administration of that 
body soon demanded the intervention of the Emperor. 

e. The provinces were divided into imperial and senatorial;* 
and the administration of the latter was in the hands of the senate. 
But the Emperor had certain powers in the senatorial provinces, 
as will be explained in a later chapter. On the other hand, 
the senate had a small hold on the imperial provinces (except 
Egypt), in so far as the Emperor appointed only senators as his 

(2) The senate, as the council of the chief magistrates, sometimes 
exercised judicial functions under the Republic, as for example in 
the case of the Bacchic orgies (186 B.C.). But such cases were only 
exceptional. Augustus made the senate a permanent court of 
justice, in which the consul acted as the presiding judge. This 
court could try all criminal cases ; but in practice only important 
causes, in which people of high rank were involved, or in which no 
specific law was applicable, came before it. The Emperor could 
influence this court in two ways, (1) as he was himself a member 
of it, and (2) by the risht of intercession, which he possessed in 
virtue of his tribunician power. 

* See below. Chap. VI. 


Besides the court of the consul, in which the senate acted as jury, 
there was the court of the Emperor. He could pass judgment with- 
out a jury, though he generally called in the aid of assessors, who 
were called his consilium, a distinct body from the political 
consilium mentioned above (§ 3). Every case might come before 
his court as before that of the senate. But practically he only 
tried cases of political importance or in which persons of high 
position were involved. 

It lay in the nature of things that in these two new courts only 
special and important causes were tried. Ordinary processes in 
Konie and Italy were decided, as in former days, by the ordinary 
courts of the praetors (qusestiones perpetuse), who still continued to 
exercise their judicial functions. But senators were now entirely 
excluded from the bench of iudices* who appear to have been 
nominated by the Emperor. 

In the provinces justice was administered by the governors, but 
they had no jurisdiction over Roman citizens, unless it was specially 
delegated to them by the Emperor. Roman citizens could always 
appeal from the provincial courts to the higher courts at Rome. 
The appellatio to the Princeps seems to have been made legal by a 
measure of 30 B.C. On the principle of the division of power 
between senate and Princeps, appeals from the decrees of the 
governors of senatorial provinces should have been exclusively 
directed to the senate. But on the strength of his imperium 
maius the Emperor often received appeals from senatorial as well 
as from imperial provinces. Appeal could only be made against 
the sentence of an official to whom judicial power had been 
delegated, it could not be made directly against a jury; but it 
could be made against the decree of the magistrate which appointed 
the jury. 

(3) Under Augustus the senate had no voice in the election of 
magistrates. The Emperor was himself able to control the elec- 
tions in the comitia in two ways. (1) He had the right to test 
the qualification of the candidates and conduct the proceedings 
of the election. This right regularly belonged to the consuls. But 
when Augustus set aside the consulate for the tribunician power in 
23 B.C., it seems that he reserved this right by some special clause. 
He was thus able to publish a list of candidates, and so " nominate" 
those whom he wished to be elected. He used only to nominate 
as many as there were vacancies. (2) He had the right of com- 
mendation (commendatio or suffragatio). That is, he could 
name certain persons as suitable to fill certain offices ; and these 
candidates recommended by the Emperor (candidati principis) were 
* See below, $ 1 (8), 

Chap. hi. 



returned as a matter of course. The highest office, however, the 
consulate * was excepted from the right of commendation. 

(4) In regard to legislation the senate was theoretically in a 
better position under the Empire than under the Republic. 
Originally and strictly it had no power of legislation whatever. 
The decisions of the senate, embodied in senatusconsulta, did not 
constitutionally become law until they were approved and passed 
by an assembly of the people. But practically they came to have 
legal force. The confirmation of the people came to be a mere 
form, and sometimes the form was omitted. It is possible that it 
was omitted in the case of the decree which conferred the imperium 
on Augustus. 

Under Augustus the senate became a legislative body and in this 
respect took the place of the assembly of the people. From it and 
in its name issued the laws (senatusconsulta) which the Emperors 
wished to enact ; just as the laws (leges) proposed by the republican 
magistrates were made by the people. 

The senate alone had the power of passing laws to dispense 
from the operation of other laws,f and the Emperor himself, who 
was bound by the laws like any other citizen, had to resort to it for 
this purpose. For example, in 24 b.c. a senatusconsultum freed 
Augustus from the Cincian law which fixed a maximum for 
donations. The special exception of particular persons from the law 
which defined a least age for holding the magistracies, was at first 
a prerogative of the senate, but the Princeps gradually usurped it. 
To the senate also belonged exclusively the right of decreeing a 
triumph, of consecrating or condemning the Princeps after death, 
and of licensing collegia. 

The Princeps had no direct right to make laws, more than a 
consul or a tribune. Like these magistrates, he had by virtue of 
his tribunician power the right to propose or introduce a law at the 
comitia, for the people to pass. But this form of initiating 
legislation was little used, and was entirely given up by the suc- 
cessor of Augustus. It would seem that it did not harmonize with 
the monarchical essence of the Principate. It placed the Princeps 
on a level with the other magistrates, and perhaps it recognised too 
openly the sovran right of the ] eople, which, in point of fact, the 
Emperor had usurped. But formally the Princeps had no right to 
make laws himself, and thus Augustus as Princeps was less 
powerful than Ca3sar as triumvir. But the restraint was evaded in 

* This is true, at all events, for the 
first two Emperors. Commendation for 
the consulate seems to have been intro- 
duced by the reign of Nero. 

f This applies to the early period ; but 
at the end of the first century a.d. we 
find the Emperors granting dispensa- 


several ways, and as a matter of fact the Emperor was the law- 
giver. By special enactments he was authorised to grant to 
both corporations and individuals rights which were properly 
only conferred by the comitia. It was the Princeps who founded 
colonies and gave them Roman citizenship. It was he who be- 
stowed upon a subject community the dignity of ius Latinum 
or a Latin community to full Roman citizenship. It was quite 
logical that these powers should be transferred to the Princeps, 
in his capacity of Impevator, as sovran over the provinces and 
dispenser of peace and war, and maker of treaties. He also used 
to define the local statutes for a new colony. He had the right to 
grant Roman citizenship to soldiers at all events, perhaps also to 

Apart from these leges datse, which were properly comitial laws, 
the most important mode of imperial legislation was by "con- 
stitutions," which did not require the assistance of either senate or 
comitia. These imperial measures took the form either of (1) 
edicts, which as a magistrate the Princeps was specially em- 
powered to issue; or of (2) acta (decreta or epistolde), decisions 
and regulations of the Emperor which primarily applied only to 
special cases, but were generalised and adopted as universally binding 
laws. The validity of the imperial acta was recognised in a special 
clause of the lex de imperio, and the oath taken by senators and 
magistrates included a recognition of their validity. But- their 
validity ceased on the death of the Princeps, and this fact 
illustrates the important constitutional difference between the 
Principate and monarchy. 

(5.) The financial system of the state was modified by the 
division of the government between the Emperor and the senate. 
There were now two treasuries instead of one. The old xrarium 
Saturni was retained by the senate. Under the Republic the 
serarium was under the charge of the quaestors, but by Augustus 
the duty was transferred to two praators, 23 B.C. (prsetores s&rarii). 
The Emperor's treasury was called the fiscus ; * and from it he had 
to defray the costs of the provincial administration, the main- 
tenance of the army and fleets, the corn- supply, &c. It is to be 
observed that provincial territory in the imperial provinces was now 
regarded as the property, not of the state, but of the Emperor ; 
and therefore the proceeds derived from the land-taxes went into 
the fiscus. From a strictly legal point of view the fiscus was as 
much the private property of the Emperor as the personal property 

* The name was probably not applied in 
this technical sens' 1 as early as Augustus. 
It perhaps was introduced about the time 

of Claudius, but it is convenient to 
amicipate the usage. 

Chap. hi. 



which he inherited (jpatrimonium) or acquired as a private citizen 
(res privata). But at first the latter was kept apart from the 
fiscus, which belonged to him in his political capacity. His personal 
property, however, soon became looked upon, not indeed as fiscal, 
but as in a certain sense imperial (crov\n-property, as we should 
say), and devolving by right on his successor. 

The expenses which the aerarium was called upon to defray 
under the Principate were chiefly (1) public religious worship, 
(2) public festivals, (3) maintenance of public buildings, (4) oc- 
casional erection of new buildings, and (5) construction of public 
roads in Rome and Italy, to which, however, the fisc also con- 
tributed. Indeed it is impossible to distinguish accurately the 
division between the two treasuries. 

In the senatorial provinces the taxes were at first collected on 
the farming system, which had prevailed under the Republic, but 
this system was abandoned before long, and finally the collection 
of the taxes in the senatorial as well as the imperial provinces 
was conducted by imperial officers. But the tendency was to 
consign the duty of collecting the taxes to the communities them- 
selves, and in later times this became the system universally.* 

In the arrangements for minting money also a division was made 
by Augustus between Emperor and senate. At first (27 b.c.) both 
senate and Emperor could issue gold and silver coinage,' at the 
expense of the asrarium and the imperial treasury respectively. 
Copper coinage ceased altogether for a time. But when copper was 
again issued about twelve years later, a new arrangement was made. 
The Princeps reserved for himself exclusively the coining of gold 
and silver, and gave the coining of copper exclusively to the senate. 
This was an advantage for the senate and a serious limit on the 
power of the Princeps. For the exchange value of the copper 
always exceeded the value of the metal, and thus the senate had 
the power, which the Princeps did not possess, of issuing an un- 
limited quantity of credit-money. In later times we shall see that 
the Emperors could not resist the temptation of depreciating the 
value of silver and thus assuming the same privilege. 

One of the most important functions of the senate under the 
Emperors w T as that it served as an organ of publication, and kept 
the public in communication with the government. The Emperor 
could communicate to the senate important events at home or 
abroad, and though these communications were not formally public, f 

* For taxes and sources of state income 
see Note A. at end of chapter. 

f The publication of the acta senatus, 
or proceedings of the senate, which seems 

to have been first introduced in 59 b.c, 
was abolished by Augustus. For the 
acta diurna, see Note B. at end of chap- 


they reached the public ear. It was usual for a new Prince ps on 
his accession to lay before the senate a programme of his intended 
policy, and this was of course designed for the benefit of a much 
larger audience than that assembled in the Curia. 

Sect. III. — The Princeps and the Magistrates. 

§ 6. We have seen that the republican magistrates continued to 
be elected under the Empire, and they were still supposed to 
exercise their functions independently. Under the dictatorship of 
Julius Ca3sar, they had been subject to the mains imperium of the 
dictator ; but it was not so under the Principate. The Princeps 
has no mains imperium over them, as he has over the proconsul 
abroad.- His power is only co-ordinate, but on the other hand it is 
quite independent. 

The dignity of the consulate was maintained, and it was still 
a coveted post. Indeed new, though reflected, lustre seemed to 
be shed on the supreme magistracy by the fact that it was the only 
magistracy which the Princeps deigned occasionally to hold himself. 
To be the Emperor's colleague was a great distinction indeed. The 
consuls still gave their name to the year of their office, and they 
retained the right of conducting and controlling the elections in 
the popular assemblies. It has already been mentioned that a new 
senatorial court was instituted, in which they were the presiding 
judges. Augustus also assigned the consuls some new duties in 
civil jurisdiction. But he introduced the fashion of replacing the 
consuls who entered upon office in January by a new pair of 
consules suffecti at the end of six months. This custom, however, 
was not definitely legalised, and was sometimes not observed. In 
later times four-monthly consulates were introduced,* and later 
still two-monthly, f 

The number of praetors had been increased to sixteen by Julius 
Caesar. Augustus at first reduced the number to eight; he then 
added two pr stores derarii ; J afterwards Jie increased them again to 
sixteen, but finally fixed the number at twelve. The chief duties 
of the praetors were, as before, judicial. But Augustus assigned to 
them the obligation of celebrating public games, which formerly 
had devolved upon the consuls and the aediles. 

A college of ten tribunes was still elected every year, but the 
office became unimportant, and the chief duties of a tribune were 
municipal^ The aediles also lost many of their functions. 

* After Nero. | $ But they still retained and sorae- 

f By Hadrian. times exercised the ius auxilii and inter- 

$ See above, $ 5 (5). | cessio. 


Augustus divided the city of Rome into fourteen regions, over 
each of which an overseer or prefect presided ; these overseers were 
chosen from the praetors, aediles, and tribunes. 

The quaestor ship was a more serious and laborious office. Sulla 
had fixed the number of quaestors at twenty ; Julius Caesar raised it 
to forty ; Augustus reduced it again to twenty. Quaestors were 
assigned to the governors of senatorial provinces ; the proconsul of 
Sicily had two. Two quaestors were at the disposal of the Emperor, 
to bear communications between him and the senate. The consuls 
had four quaestors, and these were two qusestores urhani. 

This magistracy had an importance over and above its proper 
functions, in that it qualified for admission into the senate. Thus 
as long as the quaestors were elected by the comitia, the people had 
a direct voice in the formation of the senate ; and thus, too, the 
Emperor, by his right of commendation already mentioned, exercised 
a great though indirect influence on the constitution of that body. 

The vigmtivirate was held before the quaestorship. It comprised 
four distinct boards : the tresviri capitales, on whom it devolved to 
execute capital sentences ; the tresviri monetales, who presided at 
the mint ; the quatuorviri viis in urbe purgandis, officers who looked 
after the streets of Rome; and the decemviri stlitibus iudicandis, 
who were now appointed to preside in the centum viral courts. 

The Republican magistrates formed a civil service and executive 
for the senate. The Princeps had no such assistance at his disposal. 
As a magistrate, he was supposed, like a consul or a praetor, to do 
everything himself, The personal activity, which is presupposed 
on the part of the Princeps, is one of the features which distinguish 
the Principate from monarchy. It followed, as a consequence of 
this theory, that all the officials, who carried out the details of 
administration for which the Emperor was responsible, were not 
public officers, but the private servants of the Emperor. A freed- 
man fulfilled duties which in a monarchy would devolve upon a 
secretary of state. The Emperor had theoretically a perfect right 
to have appointed, if he chose, freedmen, or citizens of any rank, as 
governors in the provinces which he was supposed to govern him- 
self. It was due to the sound policy of Augustus and his self- 
control that he made it a strict rule, which his successors main- 
tained, only to appoint senators, and in certain cases knights, to 
those posts. He also voluntarily defined the qualification of 
equestrian rank for the financial officers, procuratores Augusti, 
who represented him in the provinces.* But the position of the 
knights must be more fully explained. 

* See below, $ 1. (9), and Chap. VI., $ 3. 


Sect. IY — The Equites. 

§ 7. The equestrian order was reorganised by Augustus, and 
altered both in its constitution and in its political position. 

(i) Constitution. In the early Republic the equites were the 
citizen cavalry, who were provided with horses for their military 
service at public cost. But in the later Eepublic there had come to 
be three classes of equites ; those who were provided with public 
horses (eques Bomanus equo publico), those who provided their own 
horses, and those who by estate or otherwise were qualified for 
cavalry service but did not serve. The two last classes were 
not in the strictest speech Eoman knights, and they were abolished 
altogether by Augustus, who thus returned to the system of the 
early Eepublic. Henceforward every knight is an eques Bomanus 
equo publico * and the whole ordo equester consists of such. 

(2) Admission. The Emperor himself assumed the right of 
granting the public horse which secured entry into the equestrian 
order. The chief qualifications were the equestrian census, 
free birth, soundness of body, good character, but the qualification 
of free birth was not strictly insisted on under the Empire, and 
freedmen were often raised to be knights. A senator's son necessarily 
became a knight by virtue of his birth, and thus for men born in 
senatorial rank, knighthood was a regular stage before entry into 
the senate. There was a special official department (ad census 
equitum Bomanorum) for investigating the qualifications of those 
who were admitted into either of " the two orders," (ordo uterque) 
as the senate and the knights were called. 

(3) Life-tenure. Another innovation of Augustus consisted in 
making the rank of knight tenable for life. Apart from degradation, 
as a punishment or as a consequence of the reduction of his income 
below the equestrian rating (400,000 sesterces), a knight does not 
cease to be a knight, unless he becomes a senator or enters legionary 
service. Legionary service was so attractive under the Empire 
that cases often occurred of knights surrendering their rank in 
order to become centurions. 

(4) Equitum probatio. It was an old custom that the equites 
Romani equo 'publico should ride annually, on the Ides of July, in 
full military caparison from the Temple of Mars at the Porta 
Capena, first to the Forum to offer sacrifice there to their patron gods, 
Castor and Pollux, and then on to the Capitol. This procession, 

* Often abbreviated to equo publico. 
Under the later Republic, when there 
were knights, who had their own horses, 

equo publico and eques Bomanus were not 
synonymous in use. 


called the transvectio equitum had fallen into disuse, and Augustus 
revived it and combined with it an equitum probatio, or " review of 
the knights." Sitting on horseback and ordered according to their 
turmse, the knights passed before the Emperor, and the name of 
each was called aloud. The names of any whose behaviour had 
given cause for censure were passed over, and they were thus 
expelled from the order. Here the Emperor discharged duties which 
before the time of Sulla had been discharged by the censors. He 
was assisted by three or ten senators appointed for the purpose. 

(5) Organisation. The equestrian order was divided into 
turmse, six in number, each of which was commanded by one of the 
seviri equitum Romanorum (t'Xapxot). The seviri were nominated 
by the Emperor, and changed annuaLly like the magistrates. They 
were obliged to exhibit games Qudi sevirales) every year. It is to 
be observed that the knights were not organised or treated as a 
political body, like the senate. They had no machinery for 
action ; no common political initiative ; no common purse. 

(6) Privileges. In dress the Roman eques was distinguished by 
the military mantle called trabea f and the narrow purple stripe 
(angustus clavus) on the tunic. They also wore a gold ring, and 
this was considered so distinctively a badge of knighthood, that the 
bestowal of a gold ring by the Emperor became the form of 
bestowing knighthood. The children of a knight, like those of 
a senator, were entitled to wear the gold bulla. In the theatre 
special seats — " the fourteen rows " — were reserved for the knights, 
and Augustus (5 a.d.) assigned them special seats also at races in 
the Circus and at gladiatorial spectacles. 

(7) Service of the knights as officers. The chief aim of Augustus 
in reorganising the knights was military. He desired to procure 
competent officers in the army, from which posts he excluded 
senators entirely. Men of senatorial rank, however, who, as has 
been already mentioned, became knights before they were old 
enough to enter the senate, regularly served a militia, as it was 
called. The officer-posts here referred to are the subordinate 
commands — not the supreme commands of legions — and are of three 
kinds : (a) prcefectura cohortis, or command of an auxiliary cohort, 
(b) tribunatus militum, in a legion, (c) prcefectura alse, command 
of an auxiliary cavalry squadron. The Emperor, as the supreme 
military commander, made the appointments to these militias 
equestres. Service as officers seems to have been made obligatory 
on the knights by Augustus. As knights only could hold these 
posts, there was no system of regular promotion for soldiers into the 
officer class. But it often happened that soldiers who had distin- 
guished themselves and had risen to the first rank of centurions— 


who corresponded somewhat to our "non-commissioned officers" 
— received the equus publicus from the Emperor, and thus were 
able to become tribunes and prefects. As a rule the officers held 
their posts for several years, and it was considered a privilege to 
hold the tribunatus semestris, which could be laid down after six 

(8) Service of knights as jurymen. In 122 B.C., C. Gracchus 
had assigned the right of serving as indices exclusively to the 
knights ; forty years later (81 B.C.), Sulla restored it to the senate ; 
then in 70 B.C., a compromise between the two orders was made 
by the law of L. Aurelius Cotta, whereby the list of jurymen was 
composed of three classes, called decurise, the first consisting 
entirely of senators, the second of knights equo 'publico, the third 
of tribuni zerarii. As the last class possessed the equestrian census 
and belonged to the equestrian order in the wide sense in which 
the term was then used, although they had not the equus publicus, 
this law of Cotta really gave the preponderance to the knights. 
The total number of indices was 900, each class contributing 300. 
This arrangement lasted till 46 B.C., when Caesar removed the 
tribuni serarii from the third class and filled it with knights In 
the strict sense. Augustus excluded the senators altogether from 
service as indices, and while he preserved the three decurise filled 
them with knights. But he added a fourth decuria for service in 
unimportant civil trials, consisting ol men who possessed more 
than half the equestrian income (ducenarii). Only men of at least 
thirty years of age were placed on the list of tudices, and, in 
the time of Augustus, only citizens of Rome or Italy. 

(9) Employment of knights in state offices. By reserving the 
posts of officers and indices for the knights to the exclusion of the 
senators, Augustus was carrying out the design of C. Gracchus 
and giving the knights an important political position, so that 
they were in some measure co-ordinated with the senate as a 
factor in the state. But he went much further than this. He 
divided the offices of administration and the public posts between 
the senators and the knights. The general principle of division 
was that those spheres of administration, which were more closely 
connected with the Emperor personally, were given to knights. 
The Iegateships of legions, however, were reserved for senators; 
as also the governorships of those provinces which had been 
annexed under the republic. But new annexations, such as 
Egypt, Noricum, and Rsetia, were entrusted to knights, and 
likewise the commands of new institutions, such as the fleet and 
the auxiliary troops. Financial offices, the collection of taxes, and 

* See below, Chap. V. $ 7. 

Chap. in. 



those posts in Home and Italy (to be mentioned in Chap. Y.) 
which the Emperor took charge of, were also reserved for knights. 
The selection of the procuratores Augusti, or tax-officers, in the 
provinces from the knights alone was some compensation to them 
for the loss of the remunerative field which they had occupied 
under the Kepublic as publicani. As the taxes in the imperial 
provinces were no longer farmed, but directly levied from the pro- 
vincials, the occupation of the knights as middlemen, by which 
they had been able to accumulate capital and so acquire political 
influence, was gone. Under the Principate they are an official 
class. Those knights who held high imperial offices were called 
equites illustres. 

(10) Elevation of knights to the senate. Knights of senatorial 
rank — that is, sons* of senators — who had not yet entered the 
senate, formed a special class within the equestrian order, to which 
they, as a rule, only temporarily belonged, and wore the badges of 
their senatorial birth. They could ordinarily become senators on 
reaching the age of twenty-five. For knights who were not of 
senatorial rank there was no regular system of advancement to the 
senate. But the Emperor, by assuming censorial functions, could 
exercise the right of adledio, and admit knights into the senate. 
It seems to have been a regular usage to admit into the senate the 
commander of the praBtorian guards when he vacated that post. 

* Also grandsons or great-grandsons, but not descendants beyond the third degree. 



The following is a list of the chief taxes, 
imposts, and other sources of state revenue 
(cp. Mr. W. Arnold, Roman Provincial 
Administration, p. 187, sqq., and articles 
" Tributum " and "Vectigalia" in Diet, 
of Antiquities : (1) The provincial land- 
tax ; (2) the anr.ona, or supply of corn, 
either the an* ona militaris, for support 
of the soldiers in the provinces, or the 
annona civira, which fell only on Egypt 
and Africa, for the maintenance of Rome ; 
(3) capitation-tax on traders; (4) ager 
jpublicus in Italy and the provinces ; (5) 
the landed property of the Emperor 
(jpatrimonium Csesaris) in Italy and the 
provinces ; Egypt comes under this head. 

This property is divided into arable land, 
pasture, and mines. (6) The vicesima 
hereditatum, duty on legacies (see below, 
Chap. V., $ 7), introduced by Augustus in 
Italy, but not applying to the provinces. 
(7) The customs duties (portoria). (8) 
Tax of one per cent, on articles of sale, 
cewtesima rerum venalium, introduced by 
Augustus. (9) Tax of four per cent, on 
purchase of slaves (quinta et vicesima 
venalium mancipiorum.) (10) Bona dam- 
natorum, confiscated property of con- 
demned persons. (11) Bona caduca, 
unclaimed legacies which came to the 
state. (12) Aurum coronarium, a nomi- 
nally voluntary, but really compulsory, 
contribution offered to Emperors by Italy 
and the provinces, on their accession. 



Chap. in. 


The acta diurna were the nearest 
approach in Rome to our newspapers, 
especially our official gazettes. They 
were published under the authority of the 
government. They contained (1) statistics 
of births and deaths in Rome; details 
about the corn supply : an account of the 
public money received from the provinces ; 

(2) extracts from the acta forensia, 
containing magisterial edicts, reports of 
trials, &c. ; (3) extracts from the acta 
senatus ; (4) a court column, about the 
doings of the imperial family ; (5) prodi- 
gies, conflagrations, lists of games, gossip 
of various kinds. See Wilkins, article 
"Acta," Dictionary of Greek and Roman 


Coin of Augustus 

Livia, wearing the Palla. Julia. 



§ 1. Tasks of Augustus. § 2. His marriages. Livia. The political im- 
portance of the imperial house. § 3. The problem of the succession. 
The consors imperii. Position of Agrippa. § 4. First plan of Augustus. 
Marcellus and Julia. Illness of Augustus. Death of Mareellus. 
§ 5. Second plan of Augustus. Marriage of Agrippa and Julia. 
Death of Agrippa. § 6. Marriage of Tiberius and Julia. Position of 
Tiberius. Gaius and Lucius Caesar. § 7. Depravity of Julia. Her 
banishment. Third plan of Augustus. Tiberius becomes the consort 
of the Emperor and is marked out as his successor. 

§ 1. While Augustus was constructing the new constitution he 
had many tasks of other kinds — administrative, military, and 
diplomatic — to perform. He had to regulate the relations of the 
Roman state with neighbouring powers in the East ; he had to 
secure the northern frontier of the empire on the Rhine and the 
Danube against the German barbarians, and carry out there the 
work begun by Caesar his father. He had to improve the adminis- 


tration in Italy and Rome, and step in if the senate of the Empire 
failed to perform its duties ; he had to reform the provincial 
administration which had been so disgracefully managed by the 
senate of the Republic. Besides this he had to make his own 
position safe by keeping his fellow-citizens content ; he had to see 
that the nobles and the people were provided with employment and 
amusement. Finally he had to look forward into the future, and 
take measures to ensure the permanence of the system which he 
had called into being. 

This last task of Augustus, his plans and his disappointments in 
the choice of a successor to his power, will form the subject of the 
present chapter. It is needful, first of all, to obtain a clear view of 
his family relationships. 

§ 2. Augustus was married three times. (1) He had been be- 
trothed to a daughter of P. Servilius Isauricus, but political motives 
induced him to abandon this alliance and marry Clodia, daughter 
of Fulvia, in order to seal a reconciliation with her stepfather 
M. Antonius. In consequence, however, of a quarrel with her 
mother, he put her away before the marriage was consummated. 
(2) His second wife was Scribonia, twice a widow, whom he 
also married for political reasons, namely, in order to conciliate 
Sextus Pompeius, whose father-in-law, Scribonius Libo, was 
Scribonia's brother. By her one child was born to him in 39 B.C., 
unluckily a daughter ; fcr, had it been a son, much anxiety and 
sorrow might have been spared him. Her name was Julia. He 
divorced Scribonia in order to marry (3) Livia, the widow of 
Tiberius Claudius Nero (38 B.C.). Livia was herself a daughter 
of the Claudian house, for her father, M. Livius Drusus Clau- 
dianus, was, as his name shows, a Claudius adopted into the 
Livian gens. She was a beautiful and talented woman whom he 
truly loved ; and it was a sore disappointment to him that they 
had no children. 

Livia, however, brought her husband two stepsons : Tiberius 
Claudius Nero (born in 42 b.c.) and Nero Claudius Drusus, born in 
38 b.c, after her marriage with Augustus, and suspected to be really 
his son. 

Besides his daughter Julia and his wife Livia, another woman 
possessed great influence with the Emperor and played an important 
part in the affairs of the time. This was his sister Octavia. She 
was married twice, first to C. Claudius Marcellus, aud secondly, for 
political reasons, to M. Antonius. By her first marriage she had a 
son, M. Claudius Marcellus (born 43 B.C.), and a daughter 

It is necessary to say a word here about the political position of 


the Emperor's kindred. The imperial house embraced : the male and 
female descendants in male (agnatic) line from the founder of the 
dynasty ; the wife of the Emperor ; and the wives of the male de- 
scendants. Thus Livia and Julia belonged to the house of Augustus, 
but Octavia did not belong to it, nor Julia's children, until Augustus 
adopted them. The distinctive privilege possessed by members of the 
imperial house was that they were inviolable and sacrosanct like the 
tribunes. This right dated from the triumviral period, and thus is 
explained how it was that Octavia, though not one of the imperial 
house, possessed tribunician sacrosanctity. She had acquired it not 
as the sister of Cassar, but as the wife of Antonius. Soon it became 
the custom for the soldiers to take an oath of fidelity to the " whole 
house of the Csesars ; " but this custom hardly existed under 
Augustus himself.* Under the first Princeps the members of his 
house enjoyed few honours and privileges, compared with those 
which were acquired by them in later reigns. 

§ 3. It has been already seen that constitutionally the Emperor 
has no voice in appointing a successor to the Principate ; for neither 
designation nor heredity was recognised. Augustus had to find a 
practical way for escaping this constitutional principle, and secur- 
ing that the system which he founded should not come to an end 
on his own death and that he should have a capable successor. 
The plan which he adopted was an institution which had no 
official name, but which was equivalent to a co-regency. He 
appointed a "consort" in the imperial power. There was no con- 
stitutional difficulty in this. The institution of collegial power 
was familiar to Roman law and Roman practice ; and the two 
elements of the imperial authority — the imperium and the tribu- 
nician power — could be held by more than one. But, at the same 
time, the consort was not the peer of the Emperor ; he could only be 
subsidiary. There could be only one Princeps, only one Augustus. 
In fact, the consort, held, in relation to the Augustus, somewhat the 
same position as the prastor held to the consul. 

Thus from the necessity for making practical provision for the 
succession arose certain extraordinary magistracies, — proconsular 
and tribunician offices, which held a middle place between the 
Princeps on the one hand, and the ordinary magistrates on the 
other. On the death of the Princeps, the consort would have a 
practical, though not a legal claim, to be elected Princeps, and 
nothing short of revolution would, as a rule, hinder him from 
obtaining the highest position in the state. 

The proconsular command was first conferred on the consort, 
the tribunician power subsequently. Under Augustus both powers 
* It seems to have existed iD the time of Nero. 


were conferred for a limited number of years, but always for more 
than one year, which was the denned period for the ordinary 
magistracies. The consort had not command over the troops, 
like the Emperor, but it was common to assign him some special 
command. He did not bear the title of Imperator, and he did 
not wear the laurel wreath. Nor was he included in the yearly 
vows which were offered up for the Emperor. But he had the 
right to set up his statues, and his image appeared on coins. 

Anyone might be selected as consort. But it was only natural 
that the Emperor should select his son for that position, and thus 
it became ultimately the recognised custom that the Emperor's 
son should become his consort. By this means the danger of 
elevating a subject so near the imperial throne was avoided, and 
the natural leaning of a sovran towards the foundation of a 
dynasty was satisfied. When the Emperor had no children, he 
used to adopt into his family whomsoever he chose as his successor, 
and the danger of such a course was mitigated by the paternal 
power which he possessed over his adopted son. 

It was some time, however, before this usage became a stereo- 
typed part of the imperial system. The first consort of Augustus 
was Agrippa, who married his niece Marcella. The proconsular 
imperium was conferred on Agrippa, some time before 22 B.C., 
but Augustus had certainly no intention that Agrippa should be 
his successor. He was compelled to assign a distinguished position 
to his invaluable and ambitious coadjutor, — to take him into a sort 
of partnership, — in order to secure his cheerful service. But cir- 
cumstances brought it about that he came to be regarded, if not as 
the probable successor, yet as something very like it. 

§ 4. As Livia proved unfruitful, Augustus had to look else- 
where for a successor. Within his own family three choices were 
open to him. Though he had no sons, he might at least have a 
grandson by the marriage of his daughter Julia. Or he might 
select his sister's son* as his heir and successor. Or he might 
adopt his Claudian step-children. 

His first plan, the marriage of the young Marcellus with Julia, 
combined two of these courses. The Empire might thus descend 
through a nephew to grand-children. High hopes were formed 
of Marcellus, who was attractive and popular and a great favourite 
of his uncle. The marriage was celebrated in 25 B.C., during the 
absence of Augustus in Spain, where he suffered from a severe 
illness, and Agrippa, the brother-in-law of the bridegroom, was 
called upon to act as the father of the bride. In the following 
year, Marcellus was elected curule aedile, and a decree of the senate 
* Octavia had also children by Antonius, but they seem to have been out of the question. 


allowed him to stand as candidate for the consulship ten years 
before the legal age. At the same time Augustus allowed his 
stepson Tiberius to be elected qusestor, though he was even 
younger than Marcellus; and this perhaps was a concession to 
Livia, who may have felt jealous of the son of Octavia and the 
daughter of Scribonia. 

But there was another who certainly felt jealous of the favour 
shown to Marcellus, and regarded him as an unwelcome rival. 
This was Agrippa. He had entered, as we have seen, into affinity 
with the imperial family by his marriage with Marcella ; he had 
been consul, as the Emperor's colleague for two successive years. 
If Augustus was the Princeps, men were inclined to look upon 
Agrippa as the second citizen ; and in the East, where political 
facts were often misinterpreted, he was actually thought to be an 
equal co-regent with the Emperor. He was not popular, like his 
young brother-in-law, but he was universally respected; his 
services were recognised, and his abilities were esteemed ; and he 
had every reason to cherish ambitious aspirations. Augustus had 
left Rome in 27 b.c. in order to devote his attention to the adminis- 
tration of Gaul and Spain. During his absence, which lasted 
until 24 B.C., there were no disturbances in Rome, although he left 
no formal representative to take his place. This tranquillity must 
have been partly due to the personal influence of Agrippa, who 
lived at Rome during these years, though not filling an official 

' In 23 B.C., the year of his eleventh consulate, Augustus was 
stricken down by another illness, and he seems to have entertained 
some idea of abdicating the imperial power. He summoned his 
colleague, the consul Piso, to his bedside, and gave him a document 
containing a list of the military forces, and an account of the 
finances, of the Empire. This act of Augustus displays the con- 
stitutional principle, that when the Emperor died, the imperial 
power passed into the keeping of the senate and the chief magis- 
trates. But Augustus, although he could not appoint, could at 
least recommend, a successor ; and it is to his honour that he did 
not attempt to forward the interests of his family at the expense of 
the interests of the state. Marcellus was still very young, and his 
powers were unproved. Augustus gave his signet-ring to Agrippa, 
thus making it clear whom he regarded as the one man in the 
Empire capable of carrying on the work which he had begun. But 
Augustus was not to die yet. He was healed by the skill of the 
famous physician Antonius Musa. On his recovery, he learned 

* But Mommsen holds that the proconsular imperium was conferred on Agrippa 
in 27 b.c. 



Chap. iv. 

that his illness had been the occasion of unfriendly collisions 
between Agrippa and Marcellus. While Marcellus naturally built 
hopes on his marriage with Julia, Agrippa was elated by the 
conspicuous mark of confidence which the Emperor had shown in 
him at such a critical moment. Augustus, therefore, thought it 
wise to separate them, and he assigned to Agrippa an honourable 
mission to the eastern provinces of the Empire, for the purpose 
of regulating important affairs in connection with Armenia. The 
proconsular imperium was probably conferred on him at this 
time. Agrippa went as far as Lesbos, but no further, and issued- 
his orders from that island. His friends said that this course 
was due to his moderation; others suspected that he was 
sulky, and it is clear that he understood the true meaning of 
his mission. 

But an unexpected and untoward event suddenly frustrated the 
plan which Augustus had made for the succession, and removed 
the cause of the jealousy of Agrippa. Towards the end of the 
same year, Marcellus was attacked by malaria at Baiae, and the 
skill which cured his father-in-law did not avail for him. He 
was buried in the great mausoleum which Augustus had erected 
some years before in the Campus Martius, as a resting-place for 
his family. The name of Marcellus was preserved in a splendid 
theatre which his uncle dedicated to his memory ; but the lines in 
Virgil's iEneid* proved a more lasting monument. The story 
is told that Octavia fainted when she heard them recited, and 
that the poet received ten thousand sesterces (about £80) for 
each line. 

§ 5. Augustus had now to form another plan, and it might be 
thought that the influence of Livia would have fixed his choice on 
one of her sons. But his hopes were bound up in Julia, and he 
now selected Agrippa as husband for the widow of Marcellus. 
The fact that Agrippa was married to her sister-in-law Marcella, 
and had children by this marriage, was no obstacle in the eyes of 
the man who had so lightly divorced Scribonia. Agrippa had 
put away his first wife Pomponia to marry the niece of Augustus, 
and he was not likely to grumble now at having to sacrifice the 
niece for the sake of the daughter. Augustus set forth in 22 B.C. 
to visit the eastern provinces. He stayed during the winter in 

* Bk. vi. 860 sqq., ending with the 
lines : — 
Heu mdserande puer, si qua fata aspera 

Tu Marcellus eris. Manibus data lilia 


Purpureos spargam flores animamque 

His saltern adcumulem donis et fungar 


See also Propertius, ii. 16, where Bai© 
is mentioned. 


Sicily, and while he was there a sedition broke out in Rome, owing 
to a struggle between Q. Lepidus and M. Silanus in their candi- 
dature for consulship. This incident seems to have determined 
Augustus to carry out his project of uniting Agrippa and Julia 
without delay. He recalled Agrippa from the east, caused the 
marriage to be celebrated, and consigned to him the administration 
of Rome and the west during his own absence in the east (early in 
21 B.C.). It is said that Maecenas advised his master that Agrippa 
had risen too high, if he did not rise still higher, and that there 
were only two safe alternatives, his marriage with Julia, or his 

In October 19 B.C. Augustus returned to Rome, and in the 
following year received a new grant of the proconsular imperium 
for five years. At the same time he caused the tribunician power 
to be conferred for five years on Agrippa, who was thus raised a 
step nearer the Princeps. The marriage of Julia and Agrippa was 
fruitful. Two sons and two daughters were born in the lifetime 
of Agrippa, and another son after his death. In 17 B.C. Augustus 
adopted Gaius and Lucius, his grandsons, into the family of Caesar, 
and it seems clear that he regarded Gaius and Lucius Caesar as his 
successors, and their father Agrippa as no more than their guardian. 
But if so, it was necessary to strengthen the guardian's hands, 
and when Agrippa's tribunician power lapsed, it was renewed for 
another five years. • 

But Augustus was destined to survive his second son-in-law as 
he had survived his first. Agrippa died in Campania in 12 B.C. 
at the age of fifty-one, and was laid like Marcellus in the mauso- 
leum of Augustus.* The Emperor's sister Octavia died in the 
following year. 

§ 6. The death of the consort did not interfere with the plan for 
the succession, but he was a great loss to Augustus, whose weak 
health rendered him unequal to bearing the burden of the Empire 
alone. The tender age of Gaius and Lucius Caesar required a 
protector in case anything should happen to their grandfather before 
they had reached man's estate. Augustus accordingly united 
his elder stepson Tiberius with Julia (11 B.a), and thus con- 
stituted him the natural protector of the two young Caesars. For 
this purpose Tiberius was obliged, much against his will, to divorce 
his wife Vips«mia Agrippina, by whom he had a son named Drusus. 
This Agrii pin a was the daughter of Agrippa by his first wife 
Pomponia (daughter of Pomponius Atticus, the friend of Cicero). 
Thus Tiberius put away Agrippa's daughter in order to marry his 

* " Condidit Agrippam quo te, Marcelle, 6epulchro," is a line in the Consolatio a4 
Liviam (67). 



Chap. iv. 

widow. No statesman perhaps has ever gone further than 
Augustus in carrying out a cold-blooded method of uniting and 
divorcing for the sake of dynastic calculations. His younger step- 
son Drusus had been likewise drawn closer to the imperial family 
by marriage with Antonia, daughter of Octavia, and niece of the 

Tiberius and Drusus had already performed important public 
services, and gained great military distinction by the subjugation 
of Kastia and Yindelicia (15 B.C.). * In 12 b.c. and the following 
years they had again opportunity for displaying their unusual 
abilities, Tiberius in reducing rebellious tribes in Pannonia, and 
Drusus in warfare with the Germans beyond the Ehine. The 
death of Drusus in 9 B.C. was a great blow to Augustus, who had 
really "paternal feelings" for him but never cared for Tiberius. 
But he could hardly have found a more capable helper in the 
administration than his elder stepson. Tiberius was grave and 
reserved in manner, cautious and discreet from his earliest years, 
indisposed to conciliate friendship, and compelled to dissemble by 
the circumstances in which he was placed. But he was an excellent 
man of business and as a general he was trusted by the soldiers, 
and always led them to victory. He became consul in 13 B.C., 
at the age of twenty-nine. Augustus raised him to the same 
position to which he had raised Agrippa. He granted him the pro- 
consular imperium first (about 9 B.C.), and three years later the 
tribunician power. In this policy he was doubtless influenced not 
only by the merits of Tiberius, but by the influence of Livia, to 
whom he granted the ius trium liberorum in 9 B.c.f On receiving 
the tribunician power, Tiberius was charged with a special com- 
mission to the East, to suppress a revolt which had broken out in 
Armenia. He had doubtless hoped that his step-father would adopt 
him. But he saw that he was destined by Augustus to be the 
guardian of the future Emperors, rather than a future Emperor him- 
self, that he was consort indeed of the Princeps, but was not 
intended to be the successor. He was too proud to relish this 
postponement to his step-children, and instead of undertaking the 
commission, he retired into exile at Khodes. In the following 
year C. Cassar assumed the toga virilis. He also became a consul 
designate. Four years later he received the proconsular imperium 

* Horace, in the Ode (iv. 4) in which 
he celebrates these achievements, gives 
credit to Augustus for their education in 
the military art. L. 22 sqq.: — 
Latequevictrices catervae 

Consiliis iuvenis revictse 
Sensere quid mens rite, quid indoles 
Nutrita faustis sub penetralibus 
Posset, quid Augusti patemus 
In pueros animus Nerones. 
f See below, Chap. V. $ 2. 

15-2 B.C. JULIA. 53 

and a special commission to Armenia. 1 a.d. was the year of his 

The succession now seemed safe. L. Csesar had assumed the 
gown of manhood in 2 B.C. so that the Julian dynasty had two 
pillars. The Koman knights had proclaimed Gaius and Lucius 
principes iuventutis, an honour which seemed to mark them out as 
destined to become principes in a higher sense. From this time 
forward the title princeps iuventutis came to be formally equivalent 
to a designation of a successor to the Principate, who was still too 
young to enter the senate. But fortune was adverse to the plans 
of Augustus. Lucius died at Massilia in 2 a.d. and two years later 
Gaius received a wound at the siege of Artagira and died in Lycia 
(4 a.d.). Thus the hopes which Augustus had cherished during 
the past twenty years fell to the ground. 

§ 7. But the death of his grandchildren was not the only mis- 
fortune which befel Augustus. The depravity of his daughter was 
even a more grievous blow. The licentious excesses of Julia were 
the talk of the city, and were known to all before they reached the 
ears of her father. She had long been unfaithful to her husband 
Tiberius, and his retirement to Khodes — though mainly a mani- 
festation of antagonism between the step-son and the grandsons of 
the Emperor — may have been partly due to his estrangement from 
her. But at length her profligacy became so open that it 
could no longer be hidden from the Emperor. She is even said 
to have traversed the streets by night in riotous company, and her 
orgies were performed in the forum or on the rostra. In short, 
to quote the words of a contemporary, " in lust and luxury she 
omitted no deed of shame that a woman could do or suffer, and 
she measured the greatness of her fortune by the licence it afforded 
for sin." The wrath of Augustus, when he learned the conduct of 
his daughter, knew no bounds. He formally communicated to the 
senate an account of her acts. He banished her to the barren 
island of Pandateria off the coast of Campania (2 B.C.), whither her 
mother Scribonia voluntarily attended her, and no intercession on the 
part of the people induced him to forgive her. Her lovers — Claudii, 
Scipiones, Sempronii, and Quinctii — were exiled ; but one of them 
Julius Antonius (son of M. Antonius and Fulvia), whom Augustus 
had spared after Actium and always treated with kindness, was put 
to death, on the charge that he had corrupted the daughter in order 
to conspire against the father. Humour said that Livia, scheming 
in the interests of herself and Tiberius, had a hand in bringing 
about the misfortunes which fell upon the family of Augustus ; 
but there is no evidence whatever that such was the case. 

The other children of Julia and Agrippa could not replace Gaius 


and Lucius. Agrippa Postumus showed such a bad and froward 
disposition that Augustus could build few hopes on him. The 
younger Julia proved a profligate, like her mother. There remained 
Agrippina, who had married within the imperial family, and did not 
disgrace it. Drusus, the brother of Tiberius, had wedded the 
younger Antonia, daughter of Octavia and M. Antonius. Of this 
marriage Germanicus was born, and Augustus selected him as a 
husband for Agrippina. The Emperor thus united his grandnephew 
with his granddaughter, as he had before united his nephew with 
his daughter. 

In deciding the question of the succession Augustus was obliged 
to have recourse to Tiberius, yet not so as to exclude Germanicus, or 
even to deprive the young Agrippa of all hopes. After the banish- 
ment of Julia, Tiberius had wished, but had not been permitted, to 
return to Rome. He is said to have spent his time at Rhodes in 
the study of astrology. In 2 a.d. he was at length permitted to 
leave his place of exile, and during the two following years he lived 
at Rome in retirement, until, in consequence of the death of Gaius, 
he was called upon to take part again in public life. On June 27, 
4 a.d., Augustus adopted both Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus, 
and caused the tribunician power to be conferred for ten years 
on Tiberius, who was sent forthwith to conduct a campaign in 
Germany. At the same time Tiberius was required to adopt his 
nephew Germanicus. As for Agrippa, he soon ceased to be a 
possible rival. His conduct was such that Augustus was obliged 
to banish him to the island of Planasia. 

Thus, after the frustration of many plans, Augustus was in the end 
compelled to recognise as his son and heir the aspirant whom he 
liked least, but who was perhaps fitter than any of the others to 
wield the power. When he adopted Tiberius, he expressed his 
feelings in the words : Hoc reipublicx causa facio, " I do this for 
the sake of the republic." 

Nine years later (13 a.d.)* Tiberius was raised higher than any 
previous consort. It was enacted by a special law (lex), introduced 
by the consuls, that he should have proconsular power in all the 
provinces and over all the armies, co-ordinate with the proconsular 
power of his " father," and that he should hold a census in con- 
junction with Augustus. It is significant that the proconsular 
power was conferred by a law. In all previous cases, Augustus 
had bestowed it by virtue of his own proconsular imperium. But 
now the power of Tiberius in the provinces is no longer secondary, 
but is co-ordinate with, and limits, that of Augustus himself, and 
does not expire with the death of Augustus. It is therefore 
* 11 a.d. according to Mommsen. 


conferred by a lex. At the same time Tiberius received a renewal 
of the tribunician power, no longer for a limited period, but for 
life ; and the senate selected him to hold the foremost place in 
the senatorial committee, which at the request of Augustus had 
been appointed to represent the whole senate.' 

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Arch of Augustus at Rimini. 




1. Maecenas. Conspiracies against Augustus. Public prosperity. 
§ 2. Revival and maintenance of public religion. Temples. Legis- 
lation against immorality. Encouragement to marriage. Lex Julia 
de adulteriis. Secular games. Policy in regard to the libertini. § 3. 
New offices at Rome. Cura annonse. Prsefectus vigilum; cura 
operum publicorum ; cura aquarum. § 4. Prsefectus urbi. § 5. Italy. 
Cura viarum. Eleven regions. The imperial post. § 6. The 
Augustales. The libertini in Italy. § 7. Organisation of the army. 
The legions and auxilia. § 8. The praetorian guards. The imperial 

Sect. I. — Keligious and Social Eeforms of Augustus. 

§ 1. Augustus sought to secure his government by conciliating the 
higher classes and keeping the populace amused. In these aims he 
may be said to have succeeded. His government on the whole 
was popular, and people were content. His policy, constantly 
guided by Maecenas, was liberal and humane, and that minister 
found means to secure the safety of his master without the help 
of informers or spies. The Komans regarded Maecenas as an ideal 
minister, and by his death in 8 B.C. the Emperor lost a councillor 


whose tact and insight could not easily be replaced. He is reported 
to have cried that if either Agrippa or Maecenas had lived, the 
domestic troubles which darkened the later years of his life would 
never have befallen him. 

It was harder to conciliate the aristocracy than to satisfy the 
lower classes ; and notwithstanding his personal popularity, not- 
withstanding the promptness of the senate to fall in with his wishes 
and accept his guidance, Augustus could not fail to perceive a 
feeling of regret for the Republic prevailing among the higher 
classes, and he probably felt that, if his own personal influence were 
removed by death, the survival of the Principate would be very 
uncertain. He could not mistake obsequiousness, or even personal 
friendship to himself, for cheerful acquiescence in the new system. 
His safety was occasionally threatened by conspiracies, of which we 
have very little information ; but they do not seem to have been 
really serious. We need only mention that of Fannius Caepio 
(23 B.C.) and that of Cn. Cornelius Cinna (4 a.d.). Caapio's con- 
spiracy is remarkable from the fact that A. Terentius Yarro 
Murena, who was colleague of the Emperor in the consulate, was 
concerned in it. Murena was the brother of Proculeius,* an intimate 
friend of Augustus, and of Terentia, wife of Maecenas and reputed 
to be the Emperor's mistress. Augustus took the matter very 
seriously, but it seems that the people were not convinced of 
Murena's guilt. Both Murena and Caapio were executed. In the 
other case, Cinna and his associates were pardoned by the advice 
of Li via, who perhaps had learned a lesson from the clement policy 
of Maecenas. It was a great triumph for Augustus when, in the 
year of Murena's conspiracy — the same year in which he was him- 
self dangerously ill, and in which he gave the Principate its final 
shape — he won over two of the most distinguished men of repub- 
lican sentiments, Cn. Calpurnius Piso and L. Sestius Quirinus, and 
iuduced them, after his own abdication of the consulate in June, to 
fill that magistracy for the rest of the year. But there were still 
a certain number of irreconcilables, ready, if a favourable oppor- 
tunity offered, to attempt to restore the Republic. 

The solid foundations of the general contentment which 
marked the Augustan period were the effects of a long peace ; the 
restoration of credit, the revival of industry and commerce, the 
expenditure of the public money for the public use, the promotion 
of public comfort and the security of public safety. In describing 
the details of the home administration, it is fitting to begin with the 
cares which Augustus bestowed on the revival of religion and the 
maintenance of the worship of the gods. 

He who is described by Horace as notus infratres animi paterni 

27 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



§ 2. The priestly duties of maintaining religious worship in the 
temples of the gods devolved properly upon the patrician families 
of Kome. These families had been reduced in number and 
impoverished in the course of the civil wars ; an irreligious spirit 
had crept in ; and the shrines of the gods had fallen into decay. 
Horace, who saw the religious revival of Augustus, ascribes the 
disasters of the civil wars to the prevailing impiety : 

Delicta maiorum immeritus lues, 
Roman e, donee templa refeceris.* 

We have already seen that after the conquest of Egypt, Augustus 
caused a law to be passed (the lex Ssenia) for raising some plebeian 
families to the patrician rank, f His care for the dignity and 
maintenance of the patriciate was closely connected with hip 
concern for the restoration of the national worship. He set the 
example of renewing the old houses of the gods, and building new 
ones. J 

Apollo, whose shrine stood near Actium, was loved by 
Augustus above all other deities, and the Emperor was pleased if his 
courtiers hinted that he was directly inspired by the god of light 
or if they lowered their eyes in his presence, as if dazzled by some 
divine effulgence from his face. To this god he erected a splendid 
temple on the Palatine. , The worship of the Lares engaged his 
particular attention, and he built numerous shrines for them in the 
various districts of Rome. Many religious games and popular feasts 
were also revived. 

The state religion, as reformed by Augustus, was connected in the 
closest way with the Principate, and intended to be one of its 
bulwarks. Divus Julius had been added to the number of the gods. 
The Arval brothers sacrificed for the welfare of the Emperor and 
his family ; the college of the quindecimviri and septemviri offered 
prayers for him ; and there were added to the calendar new feasts 
whose motives depended on the new constitution. Moreover the 
Princeps was Pontifex Maximus,§ and belonged to the other religious 
colleges, in which members of his house were also usually enrolled. 
It has been remarked that the vitality of the old religion is 
clearly illustrated by the creation of new deities like Armona, — the 
goddess who presided over the corn-supply on which imperial 
Rome depended. 

The restoration of the worship of Juno was assigned to the care 
of Livia, as the representative of the matrons of Rome. Not only 

* Odes, iii.*6. 

t See above, Chap. I. $ 5. 

% Ovid calls him templorum positor. 

templorum sancte repostor (Fasti, ii. 
$ See above, Chap. II. $ 4. 


had the shrines of that goddess been neglected, but the social 
institution over which she • specially presided had gone out of 
fashion. Along with the growth of luxury and immorality there 
had grown up a disinclination to marriage. Celibacy was the 
order of the day, and the number of Eoman citizens declined. 
Measures enforcing or encouraging wedlock had often been taken by 
censors, but they did not avail to check the evil. Augustus made 
the attempt to break the stubbornness of his fellow-citizens at 
first by penalties (18 b.c.) and afterwards by rewards. A lex de 
"maritandis ordinibus was passed, regulating marriages and divorces, 
and laying various penalties both on those who did not marry and 
on those who, married, had no children. An unmarried man 
was disqualified from receiving legacies, and the married man 
who was childless was fined half of every legacy. These unlucky 
ones were also placed at a disadvantage in competition for public 
offices. Nearly thirty years later (9 a.d.), another law, the lex 
Papia Poppasa, established a system of rewards. The father of three 
children at Rome, was relieved of a certain portion of the public 
burdens, was not required to perform the duties of a judex or a 
guardian, and was given preference in standing for magistracies. 
These privileges were called the ius trium liberorum. The same 
privileges were granted to fathers of four children in Italy, or of 
five in the provinces. Augustus also (18 B.C.) tried to enforce 
marriage indirectly by laying new penalties on licentiousness. The 
lex Julia de adulteriis et de pudicitia made adultery a public 
offence ; whereas before it could only be dealt with as a private 
wrong. No part of the policy of Augustus was so unpopular as 
these laws concerning marriage. They were strenuously resisted 
by all classes, and evaded in every possible way. Yet perhaps 
they produced some effect. Certainly the population of Roman 
citizens increased considerably between 28 and 8 B.C., and still 
more strikingly between the latter date and 14 a.d. ; * but this 
increase might be accounted for by the general welibeing of the 
age, quite apart from artificial incentives. 

In the year 17 B.C. — ten years after the foundation of the 
Principate — Augustus celebrated Ludi Sseculares, which were 
supposed to be celebrated every hundred (or hundred and ten) years. 
It was thus a ceremony which no citizen had ever beheld before and 
which none — according to rule — should ever behold again. As a 
matter of fact, however, many of those who saw the secular games 
of Augustus were destined to see the same ceremony repeated by 

* In 28 b.c. the number was 4,063,000, I peror's official statement in the Monu- 
in 8 b.c. 4,233,000, in 14 a.d. 4,937,000. mentum Ancyranum. 
These numbers are taken from the Em- I 

27 B.a-14 a.d. THE JULIAN LAWS. 63 

one of his successors.* Augustus probably intended the feast to 
have a certain political significance, both as lending a sort of con- 
secration to the religious and social legislation of the preceding 
year, and as celebrating in an impressive manner the introduction 
of a new epoch, whose continuance now seemed assured by the 
adoption of the Emperor's grandsons, which took place at the same 
time. The conduct of the ceremony devolved upon the Quin- 
decimviri, who elected two of their members, Augustus and 
Agrippa, to preside over the celebration. It lasted three days. 
The ceremonies consisted of the distribution of lustral torches, 
brimstone and pitch, and of wheat, barley, and beans, at certain 
stations in the city. The usual invocations of Dis Pater and 
Proserpine were replaced by those of Apollo and Diana. On the 
third day, a carmen sseculare — an ode of thanksgiving — was 
performed in the atrium of Apollo's Palatine temple by a choir of 
youths and maidens of noble birth, both of whose parents were alive. 
The carmen saccular e was written by Horace, and is still preserved. 

Augustus also endeavoured to restrain luxury by sumptuary 
laws,f and to suppress the immorality which prevailed at the public 
games. He excluded women altogether from the exhibitions of 
athletic contests, and assigned them a special place, apart from the 
men, at the gladiatorial shows. At these public spectacles he 
separated the classes as well as the sexes. Senators, knights, 
soldiers, freedmen were all assigned their special places. Precedence 
was given to married men over bachelors. 

In connection with the social reforms of Augustus may be 
mentioned his policy in dealing with the Ubertini, who formed a 
very large portion of the population of Kome. He endeavoured to 
reduce their number in three ways. (1) He facilitated the 
marriage of freed folk with free folk (except senators), with a view 
to drawing them into the number of the free population. (2) The 
institution of the Augustales (see below, § 6) was an inducement to 
freedmen to remain in the Italian towns, instead of flocking to the 
capital. (3) Laws were passed limiting the manumission of slaves. 
The lex iElia Sentia (4 a.d.) decreed that a slave under thirty 
years of age or of bad character must not be manumitted except 
by the process of vindicta. Four years later, the lex Fufia Caninia 
ordained that only a certain percentage of the slaves then existing 
could be set free by testament. 

* Claudius. i other law of the same year was the de 

f Lex Julia sumptuaria, 18 b.o. An- | ambitu, to suppress bribery. 


Sect. II. — Administration of Rome and Italy. 

§ 3. No part, perhaps, of the government of Augustus is more 
characteristic of his political method and of the general spirit of the 
Principate than the administration of Rome and Italy. At first he 
left this department entirely in the hands of the senate, and he 
never overtly robbed the senate of its rights. But he brought it 
about that a large number of important branches were by degrees 
transferred from the control of the senate to that of the Princeps. 
The senate and consuls repeatedly declared themselves helpless, 
and called upon the Princeps to intervene ; and so it came about 
that some offices were definitely taken in hand by him, and in 
other matters, which were still left to the care of the senate and 
the republican magistrates, it became the habit, in case of a 
difficulty, to look to the Princeps for counsel and guidance. Thus 
the way in which the encroachments of monarchy were made 
was by keeping the republican institutions on trial and convicting 
them of incompetence. This was one of the " secrets of empire," 
which were discovered and deftly manipulated by Augustus. It 
was chiefly in the later part of his principate, when he had arranged 
the affairs of the provinces, that Augustus began to intervene 
seriously in administration and organisation in Italy and Rome. In 
this connection, it is important to observe that while the institu- 
tion of the Empire inaugurated a new epoch of good government 
and prosperity for the provinces, so that they gradually rose to the 
same level politically as Italy herself, Augustus was deeply con- 
cerned to preserve intact the dignity of Rome as the sovran city, 
and Italy as the dominant country ; and the distinction between 
Italy and the provinces was not entirely effaced for three centuries. 

The supply of Rome with corn required a new organisation; 
and the Emperor's possession of Egypt enabled him to meet the 
need. In 22 B.C. there was a great scarcity in Rome, and the 
people demanded that the senate should appoint Augustus dictator 
and censor for life. Augustus rejected this proposal, but accepted 
the cur a annonse, or " administration of the corn-market,'' and soon 
relieved the distress. This was the first department in Rome 
that he took into his own hands. In 6 a.d., there was a still 
more pressing scarcity of food, and, some years later the Emperor 
was driven to take measures for the permanent provision of 
the city with corn. He instituted a prsefectus annonse, of 
equestrian rank, and receiving his appointment from the Emperor. 
His duty was to superintend the transport of corn from Egypt, 
and see that the Roman market was kept supplied at a cheap 

27 b.c-14 a.d. CORN SUPPLY. WATER SUPPLY. 65 

rate. The expenses were defrayed, chiefly at least, by the fiscus, 
though properly they should have devolved, as before, upon the 
serarium, as Rome was within the sphere of the senate's adminis- 
tration. The Emperor had also to provide for the support of the 
poor. The number of those who were entitled to profit by the 
free distribution of corn was finally fixed at 200,000. This in- 
cluded freedmen. Immense sums were also expended by Augustus 
in public donations to the plebs. 

Agrippa, whom the Emperor during his absence in the 
East (21 B.C., and following years) left in charge of Rome, set 
zealously to work to reform the water-supply. He restored the 
old and laid down new aqueducts, the chief among them being 
the Aqua Virgo (19 B.C.); and he instituted a body of public 
servants, whose duty was to keep the water-pipes in repair.* The 
administration of the aqueducts {cur a aquarum) seems to have 
been regularly organised, after Agrippa's death, in 11 B.C. 

While Augustus adorned Rome with edifices, he had also to 
guard against their destruction. Conflagrations frequently broke out 
in the capital, and there were no proper arrangements for quench- 
ing them. Finding that the asdiles, to whom he assigned this care, 
were unequal to performing it, he was compelled (6 a.d.) to 
organise seven military cohorts of watchmen (yigiles), each cohort 
composed of 10C0 to 1200 men, under the command of a Prefect of 
equestrian rank, who was entitled prxfectus vigilum, and was 
appointed by the Emperor. These cohorts consisted chiefly of 
freedmen. They were quartered in seven stations in the city, 
so that each cohort did service for two of the fourteen regions into 
which Rome w r as divided. f 

Other new charges were also instituted by Augustus for the 
wellbeing of Rome. The curatores operum publicorum (chosen 
from praetorian senators) watched over public ground, and public 

§ 4. Prxfectus urbi. Originally Roman consuls had the right 
of appointing a representative, called prxfectus urbi, to take their 
place at Rome when 'they were obliged to be absent from the city. 
This right was taken from them by the institution of the prsetorship. 
But immediately after the foundation of the Principate, $ while his 
position still rested on a combination of the consular with the pro^ 
consular power, Augustus during his absence from Rome (27-24 B.C.) 

* For an account of the Roman aque- 
ducts, see Chap. XXXI. $ 16. 
f This division of Rome was made in 

and August to the Lares and the genius 
of Augustus. 
£ Maecenas had been practically pree-> 

8 B.C. (see above, Chap. ILL § 6). It was | fectus urbi during Csesar's contest with 
also divided into 265 quarters (vici), under Antony. 
magistri vicorum, who sacrificed in May j 


revived this old office, and appointed a prsefectus urbi to take 
his place. Messalla Corvirms, a man who was much respected 
and had rendered great services to the Emperor, was appointed to 
the post (25 B.C.), but laid it down within six days, on the ground 
that he was unequal to fulfilling its duties ; but he seems to have 
really regarded it as an unconstitutional innovation. Duriog his 
visit to the East in 21 B.C., and following years, Rome was 
administered by his consort Agrippa, and therefore no other 
representative was required. But during his absence in Gaul in 
16-13 b.c, when Agrippa was also absent in the East, Statilius 
Taurus was left as pr&fectus urbi, and performed the duties well. 
It is to be observed that on this occasion Augustus was not 
consul, and the Principate no longer depended on the consular 
power ; so that the appointment of Taurus as prsefectus urbi was 
a constitutional novelty. But, under Augustus, the post was never 
anything but temporary, during the Emperor's absence from 
Italy. It was not until the reign of his successor Tiberius that 
the prsefectura urbis became a permanent institution. 

§ 5. In Italy as well as in Rome the senate proved itself unequal 
to discharging the duties of a government, and the Emperor was 
obliged to step in. The cura viarum was instituted for the 
repair of the public roads (20 B.C.). A curator was set over 
each road. For the main roads leading from Rome to the frontiers 
of Italy, these officers were selected from the praetorian senators ; 
for the lesser roads, from the knights. Italy, like Rome, was 
divided into regions, eleven in number,* Rome itself making the 
twelfth. The object of this division is uncertain ; but may have 
been made for purposes of taxation. In any case, the regions 
were not administrative districts, for the independence of the 
political communities in managing their own affairs was not 
infringed on by Augustus or any of his successors till the time of 

The imperial post, an institution which applied to the whole 
Empire, may be mentioned here. It was a creation of Augustus, 
who established relays of vehicles at certain stations along the 
military roads, to convey himself or his messengers without delay, 

* Campania, Apulia et Calabria, Bruttia an amount over 15,000 sesterces came 

et Lucania, Samnium, Picenum, Umbria, uuder the competence of the Roman pra> 

Etruria (Tuscia), iEmilia, Liguria, Vene- tors. Jt is to be observed that the com- 
tia et Istria, Transpadana. j munities themselves were financially 

f The rights of municipal autonomy quite independent. Imperial taxation 

which belonged to the Italian communities fell on the individual members of the 

were defined by Julius Caesar in the lex communities, as Roman citizens, but not 

Rubria and the lex Iulia municipalis on the communities. 

(49 and 45 B.C.). Civil causes involving 

27 b.c-14 a.d. THE AUGUSTALES. 67 

and secure rapid official communication between the capital and 
'the various provinces. The use of these arrangements was strictly 
limited to imperial officers and messengers, or those to whom 
he gave a special passport, called diploma. The costs of the 
vehicles and horses, and other expenses, fell upon the communities 
in which the stations were established. This requisition led to 
abuses, and in later times the expenses were defrayed by the fiscus. 
It is to be observe 1 that this institution had not assumed under 
Augustus anything like the proportions which it assumed a century 
or so later, as the curs <s publicus. 

§ 6. The Augustales. — Freedmen were strictly excluded from 
holding magistracies and priestly offices, and from sitting in the 
municipal councils, or senates throughout the Empire. Csesar the 
Dictator had indeed sometimes relaxed this rule in their favour 
beyond Italy, but Augustus strictly enforced and excluded libertini 
from government. Their exclusion was economically a public loss. 
For one of the chief sources from which the town treasuries were 
supplied was the contributions levied on new magistrates and 
priests, whether in the form of direct payments or of under- 
taking the exhibition of public games. As the freedmen could 
not become magistrates or priests, they were not liable to these 
burdens, which they would have been glad to undertake. In order 
to open a field to their ambition, and at the same time to make 
their wealth available for the public service, Augustus created 
a new institution, entitled the Augustales, probably in the early 
years of his principate. (1) This organisation was first established 
in Italy, and the Latin provinces of the west. In Africa it was not 
common, and it is not found at all in the eastern part of the 
Empire. (2) It was not called into being by a law of Augustus, 
but at his suggestion the several communities decreed an insti- 
tution, which was in every way profitable to them. (3) The in- 
stitution consisted in the creation every year of six men, Sexviri 
Augustales, who were nominated by the decurions (the chief muni- 
cipal magistrates). (4) These sexviri were magistrates, not priests ; 
but their magistracy was only formal, as they had no magisterial 
functions to perform. (5) But like true magistrates they had public 
burdens to sustain ; they had to make a payment to the public 
treasury when they entered upon their office, and they had to defray 
the cost of games. (6) The sexviri were almost always chosen from 
the class of the libertini. This rule held good without exception in 
southern Italy. (7) After their year of office the sexviri Augustales, 
were called Augustales, just as consuls after their year of office were 
called consulares. Thus the Augustales formed a distinct rank, to 
which it was the ambition of every freedman to belong. (8) One of 


the most interesting points about the institution is that it seems 
to have been partly modelled upon the organisation of the Eoman 
knights. The designation of the sexviri of the order of the 
Augustales seems to have been borrowed from the order of the 
Equites, and perhaps was introduced about the same time. More- 
over the Augustales occupied the same position in Italy and 
the provinces, as the knights occupied at Kome; they were the 
municipal image of the knights. They represented the capitalists 
and mercantile classes in contrast with the nobility and landed 
proprietors ; they bore the same relation to the municipal senate 
as the knights to the Eoman senate. 

Sect. III. — Organisation of the Army and Fleet. 

§ 7. Augustus introduced some radical changes into the Eoman 
military system. In the first place, he established a standing 
army. It was quite logical that the permanent imperator should 
have a permanent arm}'' under his command. The legions distri- 
buted throughout those provinces, which required military protec- 
tion, have now permanent camps. In the second place, he organised 
the auxilia, and made them an essential part of the military forces 
of the Empire. Thirdly, he separated the fleet from the army ; and 
fourthly, he established the prastorian guards. Augustus spent 
great care on the organisation of the army, but it is generally 
admitted that he acted unwisely in reducing the number of 
legions after the civil wars.* This step was chiefly dictated by 
considerations of economy, in order to diminish the public burdens ; 
but the standing army which he maintained, of about 250,000 
men, was inadequate for the defence of such a great empire against 
its foes on the Ehine, the Danube, and the Euphrates, not tc speak 
of lesser dangers in other quarters. 

At the death of Augustus, the legions numbered twenty-five. 
Each legion consisted of not more than 6000, not less than 5000, 
foot-soldiers and 120 horse-soldiers. The foot-soldiers were divided 
into ten cohorts, and each cohort into six centuries. Each century 
had a standard (signum) of its own. The horse-soldiers were 
divided into four turmse. Only those were admitted to legionary 
service who were freeborn, and belonged to a city-community. 

To the legions were attached auxiliary troops (auxilia), recruited 
from the provincials, who did not belong to urban communities. 
They were divided into cohorts, and consisted of footmen and horse- 
men, or both combined. Some foot-cohorts were composed of about 

* See Note C. at end of chapter. 

27 B c-14 A.D. 



500 men, and were divided into six centuries ; such were called quin- 
genarise. Others were larger and contained 1000 men divided into 
ten centuries ; these were militarise. Mixed cohorts of both horse 
and foot-soldiers, were termed equitatse. The alse consisted only of 
•horse-soldiers and also varied in size. The auxiliary troops, when 
attached to a legion, were under the control of the commander of 
the legion. But they could also act separately, and some provinces 
were garrisoned exclusively by auxilia. 

The legions were distinguished by numbers and by names; for 
example, legio x. gemina, xxi. rajoax, or vi. victrix* 

Besides these troops there were cohorts of Italian volunteers, of 
whom we seldom hear ; and there were in some provinces bodies of 
provincial militia. Moreover, Augustus had a body-guard of 
German soldiers to protect his person; but he disbanded it in 
9 A.D.f With the exception of the legions stationed in Egypt, 
and the auxiliary troops in some small provinces, the military 
forces of the Empire were commanded by senators. This leads us 
to an important institution of Augustus, the legatus legionis, an 
officer of senatorial, generally praetorian, rank, who commanded 
both the legion and the auxilia associated with it. The military 
tribune thus became subordinate to the legatus. He was merely a 
" tribune of the legion," and on an equality with the prefect of an 
auxiliary cohort, while his position was rather inferior to that of a 
prefect of an auxiliary squadron. These three posts (tribunatus 
legionis, prsefectura cohortis, prmfectura alse) were the three 
" equestrian offices," open to the sons of senators who aspired to a 
public career. The prefect of the camp (prsefectus castrorum) was 
not of senatorial rank, and was generally taken from the primipili, 
or first of the first class of centurions. He was subject to the 
governor of the province in which the camp was situated ; but he 
was not subject to the legatus legionis. He had no power of capital 
punishment. In Egypt, from which senators were excluded, there 
was no legatus legionis, and the prefect of the camp took his place. 

The time of service for a legionary soldier was fixed (5 a.d.) at 
twenty years, for an auxiliary at twenty -five. The government was 
bound to provide for the discharged veterans, by giving them farms or 
sums of money. It became the custom, however, for some soldiers, 
after their regular term, to continue in the service of the state, in special 
divisions, and with special privileges. These divisions were known as 
the vexilla veteranorum, J and were only employed in battle. 

* See Note A. at end of chapter 

f See Notes D. and E. 

% Also called vexillarii to be distin- 
guished from another use of vexillarii, 
meaning soldiers of a small division, tem- 

porarily separated from its main body 
and placed under a special vexillum. 
While the signum was the standard of a 
permanent body only, the vexillum was 
used for special and temporary formations. 


The expenses of this military system were very large, and in 
6 a.d., at the time of a rebellion in Dalmatia, Augustus was unable 
to meet the claims of the soldiers by ordinary means, and was 
driven to instituting an serarium militare, with a capital of 
170,000,000 sesterces (about £1,360,000). It was administered by 
three prsefecti, chosen by lot, for three years, from the praetorian 
senators. The sources of revenue on which the military treasury 
was to depend, were a five per cent, tax on inheritances, and a 
one per cent, impost on auctions. 

§ 8. Eome and Italy were exempted from the military command 
of the Imperator ; and the army was distributed in the provinces 
and on the frontiers. But there were two exceptions : the Praetorian 
guards (along with the City guards and the Watchmen) and 
the fleet. 

The institution of a body-guard (cohors prsetoria) for the impe- 
rator had existed under the Kepublic, and had been further 
developed under the triumvirate. Augustus organised it anew. 
After his victory both his own guards and those of his defeated 
rival Antonius were at his disposal, and out of these troops he 
formed a company of nine cohorts, each consisting of 1000 men. 
Thus the permanent praetorian guard under the Empire stood in the 
same relation to the Imperator, in which the temporary cohors 
prxtoria stood to an imperator under the Republic. The pay of 
the praetorian soldier was fixed at double that of the legionary, 
his rime of service was fixed (5 a.d.) at sixteen years; and 
the command was ultimately placed in the hands of two prae- 
torian prefects (2 B.C.) of equestrian rank. In later times this 
office became the most important in the state; but even at 
first a praetorian prefect had great influence. The Emperor's 
personal safety depended on his loyalty, and the appointment of 
two prefects by Augustus, was probably a device for lessening the 
chances of treachery. Only a small division of the praetorian troops 
were permitted to have their station within Home ; the rest were 
quartered in the neighbourhood. The irregularity of a standing 
military force posted in Italy, was to some extent rendered less 
unwelcome by the rule that only Italians — and " Italians" was 
at first interpreted in its old sense, so as to exclude dwellers in 
Gallia Cisalpina — could enter the service.* 

Besides the Praetorian cohorts, there were three Urban cohorts 
(cohortes urbanse) stationed at Home. During the absence of the 

* Tacitus, Annals, iv. 5. Etruria I Thus Italy beyond the Padus and the 
ferme Umbriaque delectae aut vetere | Greek towns in the south are excluded. 
Latio et coloniis antiquitus Eomanis. 

27 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



Emperor, they were under the command of the prefect of the 
city. The cohortes vigilum have already been mentioned.* 

Augustus created an imperial fleet, which was called, though 
perhaps not in his own day, the classis prgdioria. Under the 
Republic the command of the naval forces had always devolved 
upon the commander of the legions, and consequently no fleets could 
be stationed in Italian ports, as Italy was exempt from the 
imperium. Hence the Tuscan and Adriatic seas were infested by 
pirates. The war with Sextus Pompeius had turned the special 
attention of Augustus to the fleet, and he saw his way to separating 
the navy from the army. Two fleets were permanently stationed 
in Italy ; one, to guard over the eastern waters, at Ravenna, and 
the second, to control the southern seas, at Misenum. They 
formed the guard of the Emperor, and at first were manned by his 
slaves. The commanders, under the early Empire, were jprsefecti, 
who were sometimes freedmen. Augustus also -stationed a squadron 
of lesser magnitude at Forum Julium ; but this was removed when 
the province of Narbonensis was transferred to the senate (22 B.C.). 
These fleets were composed of the regular ships of war with three 
benches of oars, triremes, and of the lighter Liburnian biremes. 
But the heavier and larger kind afterwards fell into disuse, and 
liburna came to be the general word for a warship. 

* A fourth urban cohort was stationed 
at Lugudunum. Another, but very 
obscure, military corps was the statores 

Augusti, who seem to have ranked between 
the cohortes urbanse and the cohortes 


DEATH OF AUGUSTUS (14 a. d.). 

Spain 3 legions . . IV. Macedonica, VI Victrix, X. Gemina. 

Lower Germany . . 4 legions . . I., V. Alauda, XX. Valeria Victrix, XXI. 

Upper Germany . . 4 legions . . II. Augusta, XIII. Gemina, XIY. Gemina, 

Pannonia .... 3 legions . . V1IL Augusta, IX., XV. Apollinaris. 
Dalmatia .... 2 legions . . VII., XL 

Mcesia 2 legions . . IV. Scythica, V. Macedonica. 

Syria 3 legions . . III. Galli< a, VI. Ferrata, X. Fretensis. 

Egypt 3 legions . . III. Cyrenaica, XII. Fulminata, XXII. 


Africa 1 legion . . III. Augusta. 

Total number of legions 25. 



Chap. t. 

In 27 B.C., at the beginning of the 
Principate, there were only 23 legions; 
VI. Ferrata and X. Fretensis were after- 
wards added by Augustus. Moreover, 
three of the legions which existed in 27 
b.c. no longer existed in 13 a.d., having 
perished in the disaster of Varus, namely 
XVII., XVIiL, and XIX.; but they were 
replaced by three new ones, namely I., 
XXI. Rapax, and XXU. Deiotariana. 

It will be observed that in some cases 
more than one legion are designated by 
the same number. It is probable that 
this is due to the fact that the triumvirs 
numbered their legions independently of I 
one another, and Augustus transferred j 
into his own army some complete legions 
of Antony and Lepidus without changing 
their numbers. We know that this was 
so in the case of III. Gallica, which fought 
in the eastern campaigns of Antony. In 
these cases distinguishing names were 

The names were bestowed for various 
reasons. One legion got its name from 
insignia (Fulminata ; perhaps Alauda) ; 
another from a people against which it 
had fought (Scythica), or a place where it 
had fought (Fretensis) ; others were called 
by general epithets (Victrix, Rapax). 
For Gemina, see Chap. I. $ 3. 

The auxilia were distinguished by the 
names of the peoples from whom they 
were recruited, but the aide (more rarely 
the cohorts) were also sometimes desig- 
nated by special names (e.g. ala Petri- 




Under Augustus the pay of the legion- 
ary soldier was 225 denarii a year (about 
£8) ; and this arrangement continued until 
the time of Domitian, who increased jit by 
a third ; so that it became 300 denarii. 
The Praetorian soldiers, when organised 
in 27 b.c, received 450 denarii (twice as 
much as a legionary) annually; but the 
money was afterwards raised to 720 
(about £25 10s.), (cp. Tacitus, Ann., i. 
17). The pay of a soldier of the cohortes 
urbanae was probably 360 denarii. 

At first Augustus (13 b.c.) fixed the 
period of service for the legionary at 36 
years, for the praetorian at 12 ; but in 5 
B.C. the former period was raised to 20, 
the latter to 16. For the auxiliaries the 

time of service was 25 years ; for the urban 
cohorts 20. 


We have no materials for tracing in 
detail the transformation which the army 
underwent under Augustus. But it seems 
highly probable that the change was 
accomplished gradually, and not by a 
single act. Mommsen holds that the 
legions, numbering over 50, were reduced 
immediately after the foundation of the 
Principate to 18, and were not increased 
until 6 a.d., in which year he supposes 
8 new legions to have been formed, 
making a total of 26 : the loss of the three 
legions of Varus, which were replaced by 
two new ones, gives the total of 25, which 
we know to have existed at the death of 
Augustus. But the evidenee which he 
cites for the formation of 8 new legions 
rather points to the supplementing of 
legions already existing. 

It seems extremely unlikely that Aug- 
ustus would have decided in 27 B.C. to 
reduce the army to 100,000 men, however 
much such a reduction was recommended 
by financial considerations. The question, 
as Herzog has w T ell pointed out, must be 
taken in close connection with the organi- 
sation of the auxilia, which were a new 
institution of Augustus, and the formation 
of which must have taken time. The 
conjecture of Herzog that the reduction of 
the legions was accomplished gradually 
and concurrently with the organisation of 
the auxiliary troops, has much to recom- 
mend it. If so, this change may have 
been nearly accomplished by 13 B.C., for 
in that year some important arrangements 
in respect to the military service were 
made by decree of the senate. (See above, 
note B.). See Mommsen, Res Gestae, pp. 
68 sqq. ; Herzog, Gesch. und Syst., ii. 
205, 206. 


In some provinces (such as Raetia, 
Cappadocia, &c.) bodies of provincials (to 
be carefully distinguished from the regular 
auxilia) were often levied in special cases 
of danger. In Tarraconensis there seems 
to have been a specially organised body of 
provincial soldiers, for we find an officer 
entitled the praefectus orae maritime^ 

Chap. V. 



in charge of two cohorts. It is also not 
improbable that in a few cases towns had 
small bodies of municipal militia to meet 


The alarm occasioned by the defeat of 
Varus in 9 a.d. caused Augustus to 
dismiss the German bodyguard which he 
had employed since the battle of Actium. 
But we find a German guard again under 
Tiberius, Gaius, and Nero. Nero's Ger- 
mans were disbanded by Galba, and this 
institution was not renewed under the 
early Empire. The legal status of the 
Germans thus employed was that of 
slaves, and accordingly they were organ- 

ised like a collegium of slaves, and divided 
into decurice. 


We hear so little of this body that it 
seemed unnecessary to mention it in the 
text. They were a special company 
organised by Augustus, and constituted 
a regular department of the service; not 
like the evocati of the Republic, a band 
specially u called forth" to meet special 
emergencies. They were selected from 
those who had already served their time 
in the army, and they fulfilled special 
duties of a civil rather than a military 
kind. They carried out works of military 
engineering, &c. 

Coin of Gaius and Lucius. 

Arch of Augustus at Aosto. 



§ 1. Distinction between the provinces and federate states. Tribute. 
Local self-government of provincial cities. § 2. Imperial and Sena- 
torial provinces. § 3. Proconsuls and propraetors. Consular and 
praetorian provinces. Legati. Procurators. The imperium maius of 
the Emperor. § 4. Visits of Augustus to the provinces. § 5. Gaul; 
the four provinces, Narbonensis, Aquitania, Lugudunensis, and Belgica. 
Altar of Rome and Augustus at Lugudunum. Importance of Lugu- 
dunum. Britain. § 6. Spain : Bsetica, Tarraconensis and Lusitania. 
Cantabrian and Asturian Wars. § 7. Africa. The kingdom of Maure« 
tania. § 8. Sardinia and Corsica. § 9. Sicily. § 10. R^etia, 
Noricum, and the Alpine Districts. Subjugation of the Raeti and 
Vindelici by Drusus and Tiberius. Conquest of the Salassi, and pacifi- 
cation of the Alps. § 11. Dalmatia and Pannonia. Dalmatian war 
of 35 B.C. Province of Illyricum. § 12. Mcesia and Thrace. 
Thracian revolts. § 13. The German question, and the defence of 
the frontiers. 

Sect. I. — General Organisation of the Provinces. 

§ 1. When Augustus founded the Empire, the dominion of Home 
stretched from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, from the German 
Ocean to the borders of Ethiopia. The lands which made up this 
empire had by no means the same political status. Kome, the 

27 b.c-14 a.d. SUBJECTS AND ALLIES. 75 

mother and mistress of the Empire, stood by herself. She was the 
centre, to which all the rest looked up. Next her, sharing in many 
respects her privileged position, was Italy.* Outside this inner 
circle came the directly subject lands and communities, which were 
strictly under the sway (in dicione) of the Eoman people. Outside 
these again came the lands and communities which, while really 
under the sovranty of Rome, preserved their independence and 
were not called subjects, but federate slates and allies. And in 
each of these circles there were various kinds and subdivisions, 
according to the mode of their administration or the limits imposed 
on their self-government. Thus the subjects of the Eoman Empire 
were almost as heterogeneous in their political relations to their 
mistress as in race and language. It is to be observed that by 
" Eoman Empire," we mean more than the Eomans in strict speech 
meant by imjperium Romanum. We mean not only the provinces, 
but the independent allied states and client kingdoms, in which the 
people were not the subjects of the Eoman people and the land was 
not the property of the Eoman state. These federate and 
associated states were regarded legally as outside the Eoman 
fines, although the foedus or alliance really meant that they 
were under the sovranty of Eome and the continuation of their 
autonomy depended solely on her will. There was no proper word 
in Latin to express the geographical circle which included both the 
direct and the indirect subjects. Perhaps the nearest expression 
was orbis terrarum, " the world," which often seems equivalent to 
M the Empire." For Eoman law regarded all territory, which was 
not either Roman or belonging to some one whose ownership Eome 
recognised, as the property of no man, — outside the world. 

The chief mark of distinction between the autonomous, and not 
autonomous communities was that the former taxed themselves, 
whereas the latt er were taxed by Eome. In both cases there were 
exceptions, but this was the general rule. And the land of the 
provincial communities which were not autonomous belonged to 
Eome, whereas the land of the autonomous states was not Eoman. 
Originally, after the conquest of her earliest provinces, Eome had 
not appropriated the land ; but this was a theoretic mistake which 
she aiterwards corrected when C. Gracchus organised Asia. Hence- 
forward all provincial territory was regarded as in the ownership of 
the Eoman people. The Eoman people might let the land anew to 
the former possessors at a fixed rent, and in most cases this was done. 
Thus the principle was that the provincial subjects occupied as 

* Since 49 b.c. all the Italian com- [ By the Lex Roscia of 42 a.d. "Italy" 
munities, from the Alps to the straits of was extended to the Alps. 
Messana possessed full Roman citizenship. | 


tenants the lands which they or their ancestors once owned. This 
rent was called tributum, or stipendium* (a). The greater 
number of provincial communities in the time of Augustus were 
civitaUs stipendiarise. The legal condition of these subjects 
was that of peregrini dediticii, but they were not called by this 
name. They were under the control of the governor of the pro- 
vince to which they belonged, (b). Throughout the provinces 
there was a multitude of cities which possessed full Roman 
citizenship, and their number was continually increasing. But 
although, as far as personal rights were concerned, these cities 
were on a level with the cities of Italy, they were worse off in two 
particulars. They w T ere obliged to pay tribute. The reason of this 
anomaly was the theoretic principle that provincial, territory could 
not be alienated by its owner, the Roman people. The ager pub- 
licus populi Romani beyond the sea could not become ager privatum 
ex iure Quiritium. In other words, a provincial of Narbo, 
although a Roman citizen, could not be a quiritary possessor of land 
in the Narbonese territory. He could only hold land of the Roman 
people, and must therefore pay rent for it. In the case, however, of 
some favoured communities, this principle was departed from as 
early as the time of Augustus. The privilege took one of two 
forms, either a grant of immunity from tribute or the bestowal of ius 
Italicum. The latter form, which was the more common, placed the 
territory of the community which received it in the same position as the 
territory of Italy, and made it capable of quiritary ownership. The 
provincial cities which possessed ius Italicum marked their position 
by the external sign of a statue of a naked Silenus with a wine-skin 
on his shoulder, which was called Marsyas. This custom was 
imitated from the Marsyas which stood in the Roman Forum, 
as a symbol of the capital city. Besides being tributary, the pro- 
vincial communities of Roman citizens were, like the peregrine 
communities, subject to the interference of the Roman governor. 

It is to be observed that these communities were either colonise 
or municipia. In the course of Italian history the word muni- 
cipium had completely changed its meaning. Originally it was 
applied to a communiiy possessing ius Latinum, and also to the 
civitas sine suffragio, and thus it was a term of contrast to those 
communities which possessed full Roman citizenship. But when in 
the course of time the civitates sine suffragio received political rights 

* Properly stipendium was the pay- 
ment levied on a oonquered state towards 
the payment of the expenses of the war, 
and was thus only temporary. But when 
the inferior position of the conquered 
state continued, the provisional payment 

was succeeded by a regular payment, and 
this tax was called by the same name. 
The tax was afterwards converted into 
the form of a ground-rent (yertigal) or 
tribute, but the word stipendium was 
still used. 

27 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



and the Koman states received full Koman citizenship, and thus the 
municipium proper disappeared from Italy, the word was still applied 
to those communities of Koman citizens which had originally been 
either Latin municipia or independent federate states. And it also, 
of course, continued to be applied to cities outside Italy which 
possessed ius Latinum. It is clear that originally municipium and 
colonia were not incompatible ideas. For a colony founded with 
ius Latinum was both a municipium and a colonia. But a certain 
opposition arose between them, and became stronger when muni- 
cipium came to be used in a new sense. Municipium is only used 
of communities which existed as independent states before they 
received Koman citizenship, whether by the deduction of a colony 
or not. Colonia is generally confined to those communities which 
were settled for the first time as Koman cities, and were never 
states before. Thus municipium involves a reference t© previous 

(c). Besides ' Koman cities, there were also Latin cities in the 
provinces. Originally there were two kinds of ius Latinum, one 
better and the other inferior. The old Latin colonies possessed the 
better kind. The inferior kind was known as the ius of Ariminum,* 
and it alone was extended to provincial communities. When Italy 
received Koman citizenship after the Social war, the better kind of 
ius Latinum vanished for ever, and the lesser kind only existed 
outside Italy. The most important privilege which distinguished 
the Latin from peregrine communities was that the member of a 
Latin city had a prospect of obtaining full Koman citizenship by 
holding magistracies in his own community. The Latin com- 
munities are of course autonomous f and are not controlled by the 
provincial governor ; but like Roman communities they have to pay 
tribute for their land, which is the property of the Koman people, 
unless they possess immunity or ius Italicum as well as ius 

(d). Outside Koman territory and, formally, independent allies 
of Kome, though really her subjects, are the free states, civitates 
liberse, whether single republics, like Athens, or a league of cities, 
like Lycia. Constitutionally they fall into two classes, (1) civitates 
liberie et foederatse, or simply foederatce, (2) civitates (sine fcedere) 
libera (et immunes). States of the first class were connected with 
Rome by a foedus, which guaranteed them perpetual autonomy. 
In the case of the second class no such foedus existed, and their 
autonomy, which was granted by a lex or senatus consultum, could at 

* Ariminum was the first of the Twelve 
Latin towns which became Romar 
Colonies before the Social War. 

f But in some respects the Latin com- 
munities under the Empire were less 
independent than under the Republic. 


any moment be recalled. Otherwise the position of the two classes 
did not differ. The sovran rights of these free states were limited 
in the following ways by their relation to Rome. They were not 
permitted to have subject allies standing to themselves in the same 
relation in which they stood to Rome. They could not declare 
war on their own account; whereas every declaration of war and 
every treaty of peace made by Rome was valid for them also, 
without even a formal expression of consent on their part. Some 
of the free states, such as Athens, Sparta, Massilia — seem to have 
been exempted by the treaty from the burden of furnishing military 
contingents, both under the Republic and under the Empire. Others, 
on the other hand, were bound by treaty to perform service of this kind; 
thus Rhodes contributed a number of ships every year to the Roman 
fleet. It is probable that the communities which were established as 
federate or Latin states under the Principate, were subject to con- 
scription. Theoretically, all the autonomous states should have been 
exempt from tribute, as their land was not Roman ; but there were 
exceptions to this rule, and some free cities — for example, Byzantium, — 
paid under the Principate a yearly tributum. 

(e). The position of the client kingdoms was in some respects 
like that of the free autonomous states, but in other respects 
different. Both were allied with Rome, but independent of Roman 
governors. Both the free peoples who managed their own affairs,, 
and the kings who ruled their kingdoms, were socii of the Roman 
people ; and the land of both was outside the boundaries of 
Roman territory. But whereas, in the case of the civitates 
fmderatce, the Roman people entered into a permanent relation 
with a permanent community, in the case of kingdoms the relation 
was only a personal treaty with the king, and came to an end at 
his death. Thus, when a client king died, Rome might either renew 
the same relation with his successor, or else, without any formal 
violation of a treaty, convert the kingdom into a province. This 
last policy was constantly adopted under the Principate, so that 
by degrees all the chief client principalities disappeared, and the 
provincial territory increased in corresponding measure. Even 
under the Republic the dependent princes paid fixed annual tributes 
to Rome, 

(f). The treatment of Egypt by Augustus formed a new de- 
parture in the organisation of the subject lands of Rome.* It was, 
as we have seen, united with the Roman Empire by a sort of " per- 
sonal union," like that by which Luxemburg was till recently united 
with Holland. The sovran of the Roman state was also sovran of 
Egypt. He did not, indeed, designate himself as king of Egypt, 
* See above, Chap. I. § 3 ; and below, Chap. VII. § 8. 


any more than as king of Eome ; but practically he was the 
successor of the Ptolemies. This principle was applied to depen- 
dent kingdoms which were afterwards annexed to the Empire, 
such as Noricum and Judea. Such provinces were governed by 
knights (instead of senators, as in the provinces proper), and these 
knights, who were entitled prefects or procurators, represented 
the Emperor personally. It is clear that this form of govern- 
ment was not possible until the republic had become a monarchy, 
and there was one man to represent the state. 

(g). To make the picture of the manifold modes in which Eome 
governed her subjects complete there must still be mentioned the 
unimportant class of attributed places. This was the technical 
name for small peoples or places, which counted as neither states 
nor districts (pagi), and were placed under or attributed to a 
neighbouring community. Only federate towns, or towns possess- 
ing either Eoman citizenship or ius Latinum, had attributed 
places. This attribution was especially employed in the Alpine 
districts ; small mountain tribes being placed under the control of 
cities like Tergeste or Brixia. The inhabitants of the attributed 
places often possessed ius Latinum, and as they had no magis- 
trates of their own, they were permitted to be candidates for 
magistracies in the states to which they were attributed. .They 
could thus become Eoman citizens. 

It is to be carefully observed, that while the subjects of Rom© 
fell into the two general classes of autonomous and not autono- 
mous, the not autonomous communities possessed municipal self- 
government. The provinces, like Italy, were organised on the 
principle of local self-government. In those lands where the 
town system was already developed, the Eoman conqueror gladly 
left to the cities their constitutions, and allowed them to manage 
their local affairs just as of old, only taking care that they should 
govern themselves on aristocratic principles. Eome even went 
further, and based her administration everywhere on the system 
of self-governing communities, introducing it in those provinces 
where it did not already exist, and founding towns on the Italian 
model. The local authorities in each provincial community had 
to levy the taxes and deliver them to the proper Eoman officers. 
Ee present atives of each community met yearly in a provincial 
concilium. For judicial purposes, districts of communities existed 
in which the governor of the province dealt out justice. These 
districts were called convenlus. 

It thus appears that the stipendiary communities also enjoyed 
autonomy — a is tolerated autonomy," of a more limited kind than 
that of the free and the federate communities. The Eoman 


governors did not interfere in the affairs of any community in 
their provinces, where merely municipal matters, not affecting 
imperial interests, were concerned. It also appears that those 
not autonomous communities which had obtained exemption from 
tribute practically approximated to the autonomous, whereas those 
nominally independent states, in which tribute was nevertheless 
levied, approximated to the dependent. 

Here we touch upon one of the great tendencies which marked 
the policy of Augustus and his successors in the administration of 
the Empire. This was the gradual abolition of that variety which 
at the end of the Republic existed in the relations between Rome 
and her subjects. There was (1) the great distinction between 
Italy and the provinces ; and there were (2) the various dis- 
tinctions between the provincial communities themselves. From 
the time of the first Prince ps onward, we can trace the gradual 
wiping out of these distinctions, until the whole Empire becomes 
uniform. (1) The provinces receive favours which raise them 
towards the level of Italy, while Italy's privileges are diminished 
and she is depressed towards the level of the provinces. But this 
change takes place more gradually tban (2) the working out of 
uniformity among the other parts of the Empire, which can be 
traced even under Augustus, who promoted this end by (a) limit- 
ing the autonomy of free and federate states, (b) increasing the 
autonomy of the directly subject states, (c) extending Roman 
citizenship, (d) converting client principalities into provincial terri- 
tory. But perhaps the act of Augustus which most effectually 
promoted this tendency was his reorganisation of the army, which 
has been described in the foregoing chapter. While hitherto the 
legions were recruited from Roman citizens only, and the 
provinces were exempt from ordinary military service, although 
they were liable to be called upon in cases of necessity, Augustus 
made all the subjects of the Empire, whether Roman citizens or 
not, whether Italims or provincials, liable to regular military 
service. The legions were recruited not from Italy only, but 
from all the cities of the Empire, whether Roman, Latin, or 
peregrinm ; and the recruit, as soon as he entered the legion, 
became a Roman citizen. The auxilia were recruited from those 
subject communities which were not formed as cities, and no 
Roman citizens belonged to these corps. Such communities now 
occupied somewhat the same position as the Italic peoples had 
formerly occupied in relation to Roman citizens. It will be readily 
seen that the new organisation of the legions, by largely increasing 
the number of Roman citizens, and by raising the importance of the 
provinces, tended in the direction of uniformity 


§ 2. It has been already stated that in the provincial administra- 
tion, as in other matters, a division was made by Augustus between 
the Emperor and the senate. Henceforward there are senatorial 
provinces and imperial provinces. The provinces which fell to the 
share of the senate were chiefly those which were peaceable and 
settled, and were not likely to require the constant presence of 
military forces. The Emperor took charge of those which were likely 
to be troublesome, and might often demand the intervention of the 
Imperator and his soldiers. Thus (27 B.C.) Augustus received as his 
proconsular " province " Syria, Gaul, and Hither Spain. With 
Syria was connected the defence of the eastern frontier ; Gaul, which 
as yet was a single province, he had to protect against the Germans 
beyond the Rhine; and Hispania Citerior (or Tarraconensis) laid on 
him the conduct of the Cantabrian war. To the senate were left 
Sicily, Africa, Crete and Cyrene, Asia, Bithynia, Illyricum, Mace- 
donia, Achaia, Sardinia, and Further Spain (Baetica). In this 
division there was an attempt to establish a balance between the 
dominion of the Emperor, (who had also Egypt, though not as a 
province,) and the senate. But the balance soon wavered in favour 
of the Emperor, and the imperial provinces soon outweighed the 
senatorial in number as well as importance. When new provinces 
were added to the Empire, they were made imperial. 

After the division of 27 b.c, several changes took place during 
the reign of Augustus; but before we consider the provinces 
separately, it is necessary to speak of the general differences 
between the senatorial and the imperial government. 

§ 3. The Roman provinces were at first governed by praetors, 
but Sulla made a new arrangement, by which the governors 
should be no longer praetors in office, but men who had been 
praetors, under the title of propraetors. This change introduced 
a new principle into the provincial government. Henceforward 
the governors are proconsuls and propraetors. 

Under, the Empire, those governors who are not subordinate 
to a magistrate with higher authority than their own, are pro- 
consuls ; those who have a higher magistrate above them are 
propraetors. The governors of the senatorial provinces were all 
proconsuls, as they were under the control of no superior magis- 
trate ; whereas the governors of the imperial provinces were under 
the proconsular authority of the Emperor and were therefore only 

The distinction between governors pro consule and governors 

pro prwiore must not, be confused with the distinction between 

consular and praetorian provinces. A propraetor might be either 

of praetorian or of consular rank, and a proconsul might be either 



of consular or of praetorian rank. In the case of the senatorial 
provinces, a definite line was drawn between consular and praetorian 
proviuces. It was finally arranged that only consulars were 
appointed to Asia and Africa, only praetorians to the rest. In the 
imperial provinces, the line does not seem to have been so strict ; 
as a rule the praetorian governor commanded only one legion, the 
consular more than one. 

The proconsuls, or governors of the provinces which the 
senate administered, were elected, as of old, by lot, and only 
held office for a year. They were assisted in their duties by legati 
and quaestors who possessed an independent pro praetorian imperium. 
The proconsul of consular rank (attended by twelve lictors) had 
three legati (appointed by himself) and one quaestor at his side; 
he of praetorian rank (attended by six lictors) had one legatus and 
one quaestor. 

The governors of the imperial provinces were entitled legati 
August i pro prcetore* They were appointed by the Emperor, and 
their constitutional position was that the Emperor delegated to 
them his imperium. But only consulars or praetorians, and there- 
fore only senators, could be appointed. Their term of governorship 
was not necessarily limited to a year, like that of the proconsuls, 
but depended on the will of the Emperor. The financial affairs 
of the imperial proviuces were managed by jprocuratores, generally 
of equestrian rank, but sometimes freedmen. There were also, 
for jurisdiction, legati Augusti juridici of senatorial rank, but it 
is not certain whether they were instituted under Augustus. 

But while the senate had no part in the administration of the 
imperial provinces, except in so far as the governors were chosen 
from among senators, the Emperor had powers of interfering in the 
affairs of the senatorial provinces by virtue of the imperium maius, 
which he possessed over other proconsuls. Moreover he could levy 
troops in the provinces of the senate, and exercise control over the 
taxation. Thus the supply of corn from Africa, a senatorial 
province, went to the Emperor, not to the senate. In both kinds 
of provinces alike the governors combined supreme civil and military 
authority ; but the proconsuls had rarely, except in the case of 
Africa, military forces of any importance at their disposition. 

Thus there were two sets of provincial governors, those who 
represented the senate and those who represented the Emperor. It 
might be thought, at first sight, that the senatorial governors would 
be jealous of the imperial, who had legions under them and a longer 
tenure of office. But this danger was obviated by the important 
circumstance that the legati were chosen from the same class as the 

* More properly legati proconsulis pro prsetore. 



27 B.c-14 a.d. GALLIA NARBONENSIS. 83 

proconsuls, and thus the same man who was one year proconsul of 
Asia, might the next year be appointed legatus of Syria. 

§ 4. In reviewing the provinces of the Roman Empire we may 
begin with the western, and proceed eastward. With the exception 
of Africa and Sardinia, there were no subject lands which Augustus 
did not visit, as Caesar, if not as Augustus. In 27 B.C. he went to 
Gaul, and thence to Spain, where he remained until 24 B.C., 
conducting the Cantabrian war. Two years later he visited Sicily, 
whence he proceeded to the East, Samos, Asia, and Bithynia, settled 
the Parthian question, and returned to Rome in 19 b.c In 16 B.C. 
he made a second visit to Gaul, in the company of Tiberius, and 
stayed in the Gallic provinces for three years. In 10 B.C. he visited 
Gaul again, and in 8 b.c for the fourth time. Henceforward he 
did not leave Italy, but deputed the work of provincial organisation 
to those whom he marked out to be his successors. 

Sect. II. — Gaul. 

§ 5. Augustus divided Gallia into four provinces : Narbonensis, 
Aquitania, Lugudunensis, and Belgica. In 22 b.c he assigned 
Narbonensis to the senate, while the others remained under imperial 

Narbonensis had become a Roman province in 121 b.c United 
with the rest of Gaul after the conquests of Julius Cassar, it was 
now restored to its separate being. Through the civil wars it 
became far more than the territory of Narbo ; for the federate Greek 
state of Massilia, which possessed most of the coast-line, was 
reduced to the condition of a provincial town, and thereby 
Narbonensis extended from the Pyrenees to the Maritime Alps. 
The elder Caasar did much towards Romanising this province. To 
him Narbo owed its strength and prosperity, and he founded new 
cities, possessing Roman citizenship, chief among them Arelate 
which as a commercial town soon took the place of her older Greek 
neighbour. The canton system of the Celts was gradually super- 
sede! in Narbonensis by the Italian system of city communities, 
and this development was zealously furthered by Augustus. In one 
interesting case we can see the process. The canton of the Volcas 
is first organised on the Italian principle under prastors (prcetor 
Volcarum) ; the next step is that the canton of the Volcas is 
replaced by the Latin city Nemausus, which is now Nimes. The 
disappearance of the canton system distinguishes the southern 
province from the rest of Gaul, and is part of its conspicuously 
Boman character. This different degree of Romanisation had 


probably a good deal to do with the marked differences between the 
lands of the langue d'oc and those of the langue cToui. Yet the 
Celts of Narbonensis did not forget their national gods ; the religion 
of the country survived long in the south as well as in the north. 

Tres Gallice. The three imperial provinces were often grouped 
together as the " three Gauls." This threefold division corresponded 
in general outline to the ethnical division, which Cassar marks at 
the beginning of his " Gallic War." But it does not correspond 
wholly. The province of the south-west contains Iberian Aquitania, 
but with a Celtic addition. The Celtic land between the Liger and 
the Garumnais taken from Celtica and annexed to Aquitania. The 
province Lugudunensis answers to Caesar's Celtica, but it no longer 
includes all the Celts. It has lost some on the south side to 
Aquitania, and others on the north to the third division, Belgica. 
Thus Belgica is no longer entirely Teutonic, but partly Teutonic 
and partly Celtic. These three districts seem at first to have been 
placed under the single control of a military governor, who 
commanded the legions stationed on the Khine and had a legatus 
in each province. Drusus held this position from 13 to 9 B.C., and 
Tiberius succeeded him (9-7 B.C.). Again, from 13 to 17 a.d. we 
find Germanicus holding the same position. It is possible that in 
the intervening years this military control was suspended, and that 
the legati of the three provinces were independent of any superior 
but the Emperor, as they certainly were after 17 a.d. 

In imperial Gaul the Roman government allowed the cantons to 
remain, and ordered their administration accordingly. The city 
system was not introduced in these provinces as in Narbonensis, 
and the progress of Romanise tion was much slower. There was a 
strong national spirit; the religion of the Druids was firmly rooted; 
and it was long felt by Roman rulers that the presence of armies on 
the Rhine was as needful to prevent a rebellion in Gaul as to ward 
off a German invasion. But no serious attempt was made by the 
Celts to throw off the yoke of their Roman lords. An Iberian 
rebellion in Aquitania was easily suppressed by Messalla Corvinus 
(about 27 B.C.), and perhaps belongs as much to the history of 
Spain as to that of Gaul. The Iberians north of the Pyrenees 
were probably in communication with their brethren of the south. 
The success of Messalla was rewarded by a triumph. 

The four visits of Augustus to Gaul, which have been mentioned 
above, and that of Agrippa in 19 B.C., show how much the thoughts 
of the Emperor were filled with the task of organizing the country 
which his father had conquered and had not time to shape. On the 
occasion of his first visit he held a census of Gaul, the first Roman 
census ever held there, in order to regulate the taxes. It is remark- 

27 B.c-14 a.d. THE THREE GAULS. , 85 

able that the policy adopted by Rome was not to obliterate, but to 
preserve a national spirit. Not only was the canton organisation 
preserved, but all the cantons of the three provinces were yoked 
together by a national constitution, quite distinct from the imperial 
administration, though under imperial patronage. It was in the 
consulship of M. Messalla Barbatus and P. Qairinius (12 B.C.), on 
the first day of August, that Drusus dedicated an altar to Rome 
and the genius of Augustus* beneath the hill of Lugudunum, where 
the priest of the three Gauls should henceforward sacrifice yearly, 
on the same day, to those deities. The priest was to be elected 
annually by those whom the cantons of the three provinces chose 
to represent them in a national concilium held at Lugudunum. 
Among the rights of this assembly were that of determining the 
distribution of the taxes, and that of lodging complaints against the 
acts of imperial official s.f 

The city which was thus chosen to be the meeting-place of the 
Gallic peoples under Romau auspices, Lugudunum, stood above and 
apart from the other communities of imperial Gaul. She gave her 
name to one of the three provinces, and the governor of 
Lugudunensis dwelt within her walls ; but she was far more than 
a provincial residence. Singular by her privileged position as the 
one city in the three Gauls which enjoyed the rights of Roman 
citizenship she may be regarded as the capital of all three, yet not 
belonging to any. Her exalted position resembles that of Rome in 
Italy rather than that of Alexandria in Egypt; it has also been 
compared to that of Washington in the United States. She and 
Carthage were the only cities in the western subject-lands in which 
as in Rome herself a garrison was stationed. She had the right of 
coining imperial gold; and we cannot assert this of any other 
western city. Her position, rising at the meeting of the Rhone 
from the east and the Arar (Saone) from the north, was advan- 
tageous from the point of view either of a merchant or of a soldier. 
She was the centre of the road-system of Gaul, which was worked 
out by Agrippa ; and whenever an Emperor visited his Gallic 
provinces, Lugudunum was naturally his head-quarters. 

The difference in development between the Three Gauls and 
Narbonensis — the land of cantons and the land of cities — is well 
illustrated by the town-names of France. In Narbonensis the local 
names superseded for ever the tribal names ; Arelate, Vienna, 
Valentia, survive in Aries, Yienne, Valence. But in imperial Gaul, 
the rule is that the local names fell into disuse, and the towns are 

* Ara Romx et Aagusti. I said to have enriched himself \>j whole- 

+ Licinus, a freedmau of Augustus, I sale extortion, and his name became 
was procurator in Gaul in 16 b.c. He is I proverbial for wealth. 


called at the present day by the names of the old Gallic tribes. Lutetia, 
the city of the Parisii, is Paris ; Durocortorum, the city of the Remi, is 
Rheims ; Avaricum, the city of the Bituriges, is Bourges. 

The conqueror of Gaul had shown the way to the conquest of 
Britain ; but this work was reserved for another than his son. 
One of the objects of Augustus in visiting Gaul in 27 B.C. was to 
feel his way towards an invasion of the northern island ; but the 
project was abandoned. The legions of Augustus, however, though 
they did not cross the channel, crossed the Rhine ; but the story of 
the making of the true and original province of Germany beyond 
the Rhine and its brief duration, and of the forming of the spurious 
Germanies on the left bank of the river, will be told in another 

Sect. III. — Spain. 

§ 6. Spain, the land of the " far west " in the old world, was safe 
through its geographical position from the invasion of a foe. Almost 
enclosed by the sea, it had no frontier exposed to the menace of a 
foreign power; and it was the only province in such a situation that 
required the constant presence of a military force. For though the 
Romanising of the southern and eastern parts had advanced with 
wonderful rapidity, the intractable peoples of the north - western 
regions refused to accept the yoke of the conqueror, and held out in 
the mountain fastnesses, from which they descended to plunder 
their southern , neighbours. The Cantabrians and the Asturians 
were the most important of these warlike races, and, when 
Augustus founded the Empire, their territories could hardly be 
considered as yet really under the sway of Rome. Since the death 
of Caesar arms had never been laid down in Spain ; commanders 
were ever winning triumphs there and ever having to begin anew. 
Augustus found it needful to keep no less than three legions in the 
country, one in Cantabria, two in Asturia; and the memory of the 
Asturian army still abides in the name Leon, the place where the 
legio VII. gemina was stationed. 

Before Augustus, the province of Hispania Ulterior took in the 
land of the Tagus and the Durius as well as the region of the 
Baetis. This division was now altered. First of all, Gallaecia, the 
north-western corner, was transferred from the Further to the 
Hither province, so that all the fighting in the disturbed districts of 
the north and north-west might devolve upon the same commander. 
The next step was the separation of Lusitania, and its organisation 
* See below, Chap. IX. 

27 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



as a distinct imperial province, while the rest of Further Spain,— 
Bsetica as it came to be called — was placed under the control of the 
senate. Another change made by Augustus was the removal of the 
seat of government in Hither Spain from New Carthage to more 
northern and more central Tarraco, whence, from this time forth, the 
province was called Tarraconensis. Tarraco became in this province 
what Lugudunum was in Gaul, the chief seat of the worship of 
Rome and Augustus, and the meeting-place of the provincial 

Thus, under the new order of things, Spain consists of three 
provinces : Baetica, senatorial : Tarraconensis and Lusitania, im- 
perial. This arrangement was probably not completed until the end 
of the Cantabrian war, which lasted with few interruptions from 
29 to 25 b.c, only, however, to break out again a year or two later. 
A rebellion of Cantabria and Asturia was suppressed by Statilius 
Taurus in 29 B.C. ; but in 27 B.C. disturbances were renewed 
and the Emperor himself hastened from Gaul to quell the 
insurrection. But a serious illness at Tarraco forced him to leave 
the conduct of the war to his legati, probably under the general 
direction of Agrippa. A fleet on the north coast supported the 
operations by land , and by degrees the fastnesses of the Cantabrians 
fell into the hands of the Romans. At the same time P. Oarisius 
subdued the Asturians. 

It was a more difficult task to secure a lasting pacification. 
Augustus endeavoured to induce the mountain peoples to settle in 
the plains, where in the neighbourhood of Roman colonies they 
might be tamed and civilized. Such centres of Roman life in the 
north-west were Augusta Asturica, Bracara Augusta, Lucus Augusti, 
memorials of the Spanish visit of Augustus, and still surviving 
under their old names as Astorga, Braga, and Lugo. The chief 
inland town* of eastern Tarraconensis was the work of the same 
statesman ; Saragossa, on the Ebro, still preserves the name of the 
colony of Csesar Augustus. 

But the Emperor had not left Spain long (24 b.c), when new 
disturbances broke out.f They were promptly put down, but in 
22 B.C. another rebellion of the Cantabrians and Asturians called 
for the joint action of the governors of Tarraconensis and Lusitania. 
The last war, and perhaps the most serious of all, was waged two 
years later, and demanded the leadership of Marcus Agrippa him- 
self (20-19 B.C.). The difficulty was at first aggravated by the 

* The other Roman cities of this pro- 
vince were on the coast 1 ; as Barcino, Tar- 
raco, Valentia, New Carthage. 

f Horace, Odes, ii. 6. 2: Cantabram 

indoctum iuga ferre nostra; 11. 1: belli- 
cosus Cantaber; iii. 8. 21 : Servit His- 
panae vetus hostis orse Cantaber sera 
domitus catena. 


mutiny of the soldiers, who detested the weary and doubtful war- 
fare in the mountains ; and it required all the nrlitary experience 
of the general to restore their discipline and zeal. After many losses 
the war was successfully ended (19 B.C.), and the hitherto 
" untameable " Oantabrian people * reduced to insignificance. A 
few disturbances occurred four years later, but were easily dealt 
with ; yet it was still felt to be needful to keep a strong military 
force in northern Spain. 

Roman civilization had soon taken a firm hold in the south of 
Spain. f The contrast of Narbonensis with the rest of Gaul is like 
the contrast of Basica and the eastern side of the Hither province 
with the rest of Spain. But Roman policy was very different in 
the two countries ; and this was due to the circumstance that 
Spain was conquered and organised at an earlier period. The 
Latinizing of Spain had been carried far under the Republic ; the 
Latinizing of Gaul had practically begun under the Empire. In 
Gaul the tribal cantons were allowed to remain ; this was the 
policy of the Caesars, father and son. In Spain, the tribal cantons 
were broken up in smaller divisions ; this was the policy of the 
republican senate. In Gaul, excluding the southern province, there 
were no Roman cities except Lugudunum ; in Spain Roman colonies 
were laid here and there in all parts. The Gallic fellows of Baetic 
Gades, Corduba and Hispalis, of Lusitanian Emerita and Olisipo, of 
Tarraconese Carthage, Caesaraugusta and Bracara, must be sought 
altogether (under the early Empire) in the smallest of the four 
provinces of Gaul. 

In Lusitauia, Augustus founded Emerita Augusta, a colony of 
veterans, on the river Anas (Guadiana), and made it the capital of 
the province. The other chief Roman towns of Lusitania were 
Olisipo, since promoted to be the capital (Lisbon) of a modern 
kingdom, and Pax Julia, now represented by Beja. Spain was not 
a network of Roman roads, like Gaul. The only imperial road was 
the Via Augusta, which went from the north of Italy along the 
coast to Narbo, then across the pass of Puycerda to Ilerda, and 
on by Tarraco and Yalentia to the mouth of the Baetis. The 
other road-communication necessary in a fertile and prosperous 
country, was provided by the local communities. The Spanish 
peninsula was rich not only in metals, but in wine, oil, and corn. 
Gades (Cadiz), which now received the name of Augusta Julia, 
was one of the richest and most luxurious towns in the Empire. 

* Horace, Odes, iv. 14. 41 : Cantaber 
non ante domabilis. Cp. iv. 5. 27 : Quis 
ferae bellum curet Hiberise ? Epistles, i. 
12. 26 : Cantaber Agrippae, Claudi virtute 
Neronis Armenius cecidit. 

f Strabo says (151) that "the dwellers 
in the regions of the Ra?tis have been so 
thoroughly Romanised that they have 
actually forgotten their own tongue," 

27 B.c-14 a.d. MAURITANIA. 80 

Sect. IV — Africa. Sardinia. Sicily. 

§ 7. From Spain one naturally goes on to Africa. Augustus never 
visited either the African province or the African dependency, but, 
before he left Tarraco (25 B.C.), he was called upon to deal with 
African affairs. In history Spain and Africa have always been 
closely connected. Sometimes Spain has been the stepping-stone 
to Africa, oftener, as for the Phoenicians and the Arabs, Africa has 
been the stepping-stone to Spain. The western half of Mauretania 
was really nearer to the European peninsula which faced it than to 
the rest of the African coast ; and under the later Empire this region 
went with Spain and Gaul, not with Africa and Italy. There was no 
road between Tingis in western and Caesarea in eastern Mauretania : 
the communication was by sea. And so it was that the Moorish 
hordes, crossing to Baetica in their boats, were more dangerous to 
Roman subjects in Spain than to those in Africa. A poet of Nero's 
time describes Baetica as trucibus obnoxia Mauris. For though 
Spain, as has been already said, had no frontier exposed to a foreign 
power, her southern province had as close neighbour a land which, 
first as a dependency and then as a province, was inhabited by a 
rude and untamed population. 

The commands which Augustus issued from the capital of his 
Spanish province especially regarded Mauretania. But we must 
call to mind what had taken place in Africa since the dictator 
Caesar ordered it anew. He had increased the Roman province by 
the addition of the kingdom of Numidia, and the river Ampsaga 
was fixed as the western boundary between New Africa, as 
Numidia was sometimes called, and Mauretania. This latter 
country was at that time under two kings. Over the eastern realm 
of Iol, soon to be called by Caesar's name, ruled King Bocchus ; over 
the western realm of Tingis ruled King Bogud. Both these poten- 
tates had taken Caesar's side in the first civil war, unlike King Juba ; 
and they therefore kept their kingdoms after Caesar's victory. But in 
the next civil war, they did not both take the same side. Bocchus 
held to Caesar the son, as he had held to Caesar the father ; but 
Bogud supported Antonius, while his own capital Tingis (Tangier) 
embraced the other cause. In reward, Bocchus was promoted to 
kingship over the whole of Mauretania ; and Tingis received the 
privilege of Roman citizenship. When Bocchus died (33 b.c), his 
kingdom was left kingless for a season, but the Roman government 
did not think that the time had yet come for a province of 



Chap. vi. 

A son of the last king of Numidia, named Juba, like his father, 
had followed the dictator's triumph through the streets of Rome, 
and had been brought. up under the care of Caesar and his successor. 
He served in the Roman army ; he was an eager student of Greek 
and Roman literature, and wrote or compiled Greek books himself. 
On him Augustus fixed to take the place of king Bocchus. If it 
was out of the question to restore him to his paternal kingdom of 
Numidia, he should at least have the next thing to it, the kingdom 
of Mauretania ; and as the descendant of king Massinissa, he would 
be welcome to the natives. At the same time (25 B.C.) Augustus 
gave Mauretania a queen. The daughter of Antonius and the 
Egyptian queen had followed his own triumph, as Juba had 
followed his father's. Named Cleopatra like her mother, she had 
been protected and educated by the noble kindness of Octavia, 
whom her parents had so deeply wronged. There had been a 
peculiar fitness, as has been well remarked, in the union of the 
Numidian prince and the Egyptian princess, whose fortunes were 
so like. This union brought about the strange circumstance that 
the last king of Mauretania, Juba's son, bore the name of Ptolemy. 

Thus Roman dominion in Africa, west of Egypt, consisted 
under Augustus of a province and a dependent kingdom, the river 
Ampsaga, on which Cirta is built, forming the boundary. The 
southern boundaries of this dominion it would have been hard, 
perhaps, for Augustus himself to fix, inasmuch as there were no 
neighbouring states.* The real dominion passed insensibly into 
a " sphere of iufluence " among the native races, who were 
alternatively submissive and hostile, or, as the Romans would 
have said, rebellious. 

Against these dangerous neighbours of the interior, Garamantes 
and invincible Gaetuiians,t Transtagnenses and Musulami, it was 
necessary to keep a legion in Africa, which was thus distinguished 
as the only senatorial province whose proconsul commanded an 
army. Two expeditions J were made in the reign of Augustus 
against these enemies, the first under the proconsul L. Cornelius 
Balbus (19 B.C.), against the Garamantes, and a second under 
P. Sulpicius Quirinius, against the tribes of Marmarica further 
east. Balbus performed his task ably, and received a triumph, 
remarkable as the last granted to any private Koman citizen. 

In the organisation of Gaul and Spain, Rome had no older 

* There was, however, a kingdom of 
the Garamantes. 

f Virgil, jLneid, iv. 40 : 

Hinc Gaetulse urbes, genus insuperabile 

Et Numidse infreni cingunt et inhospita 
% There was also some warfare in an 
earlier year ; for in 21 B.C. L. Sempronius 
Atratinus celebrated a triumph for vic- 
tories won in Africa. 

27 B.c-14 a.d. AFRICA. 91 

civilisation to build upon.* It was otherwise in Sicily and Africa. 
The civilisation of Sicily, when it became Koman, was chiefly 
Greek, but partly Phoenician ; that of Africa, on the contrary, was 
chiefly Phoenician, but partly Greek. Accordingly Rome built on 
Phoenician foundations in the lands which she won from Carthage, 
and accepted the constitution of the Phoenician town communities, 
just as she accepted the cantons in Gaul. But there was a re- 
markable likeness in organisation between these communities and 
those of Italy, so that the transition from the one form to the other 
was soon and easily accomplished. Carthage, whose existence 
was blotted out by the short-sighted policy of the republican 
senate, had been revived by the generous counsels of Caesar, to 
become soon the capital of Roman, as it had been of Punic, 
Africa. At first the Phoenician constitution was restored to her, 
but she soon received the form of a Roman colonia, and grew to 
be one of the greatest and most luxurious cities of western Europe. 
Utica, jealous of the resurrection of her old rival, was made a 
Roman municipium. The growth of Roman life in Africa was 
also furthered by the settlement of colonies of veterans. In the 
original province may be mentioned Clupea, and Hippo Diarrhytos ; 
in Numidia, Cirta (Constantine) and Sicca. In Roman civilisation, 
Mauretania was far behind her eastern neighbours ; but Augustus 
did much in establishing colonies, chiefly on the coast. These 
Roman towns of Mauretania owed no allegiance to the native king, 
but depended directly on the governor of the neighbouring 

Besides the Phoenician towns, and the towns on Italian model, 
whether municipia or colonies, there were also native Libyan 
communities ; but these stood directly under the control of the 
Roman governors, or sometimes were placed under special Roman 
prefects. The language of the native Berbers was still spoken 
chiefly in the regions which the Romans least frequented ; it was 
treated by the conquerors like the Iberian in Spain and the Celtic 
in Gaul. The language of communication throughout northern 
'Africa was Phoenician ; but Rome refused to recognise this Asiatic 
tongue as an official language, as she had recognised Greek in 
her eastern provinces. In their local affairs the communities might 
use Phoenician ; but once they entered into imperial relations, Latin 
was prescribed. It might have been thought that Greek, which 
was better known in Africa than Latin when the Romans came, 
would have been adopted there as the imperial language ; but the 
government decreed that Africa, like Sicily, was to belong to the 

* Massilia in Gaul, the few Greek I Spain, do not affect the general truth of 
towns, and the Phoenician factories in | this statement. 


Latin West. It is instructive to observe that, while the name of 
the Greek queen of Mauretania appears on coins in Greek, that of 
her husband, who was regarded as an imperial official, is always in 

Africa was fertile in fruit,* though her wine could not compete 
with the produce of Spain and Italy. In corn she was especially 
rich and shared with Egypt and Sicily the privilege of supplying 
Rome. The purple industry was still active, chiefly in the little 
island of Gerba, not destined, indeed, to become as famous as the 
island of Tyre. Juba introduced this industry on the western 
coast of his kingdom. The general wellbeing of the land has 
ample witnesses in the remains of splendid structures which have 
been found there, in all parts, such as theatres, baths and trium- 
phal arches. 

§ 8. From Africa we pass to another province in which Rome 
was the heiress of Carthage. Sardinia had ceased to look to her 
African ruler in 238 B.C., and had become, seven years later, a 
Roman province, the earliest except Sicily. In the division of the 
provinces in 27 B.C., Sardinia and Corsica fell to the senate and 
Roman people ; but the descents of pirates forced Augustus to take 
the province into his own hands in 6 a.d., and commit it to the 
protection of soldiers. He did not place it, however, under a 
legatus of senatorial rank, but only under & procurator of equestrian 
rank. It was destined to pass again to the senate under Nero, but 
returned to the Emperor finally in the reign of Vespasian. These 
islands, though placed in the midst of civilisation, were always 
barbarous and remote. The rugged nature of Corsica, the pesti- 
lential air of its southern fellow, did not invite settlements or 
visitors; they were more suited to be places of exile, and they 
were used as such. Augustus sent no colonies thither, and did 
not visit them himself. The chief value of Sardinia lay in its 
large production and export of grain, f 

§ 9. Yery different was the other great island of the Mediterranean, 
the oldest of all the provinces of Rome, the land whose conquest 
led to the further conquests of Sardinia and of Africa herself. It 
was in Sicily that the younger Caesar established his position in 
the west ; his recovery of the land, on which Rome depended for 
her grain, first set his influence and popularity on a sure foundation. 
As Augustus, he visited it again (b.c. 22), and, although it was a 
senatorial province, ordered its affairs, by virtue of his mains 
imperium, at Syracuse ; perhaps it was in memory of this visit 

* Horace, Odes,w. 16.31: Imperio fertilis I f Horace, Odes, i.' 31. 3: Opimae Ssu> 
Africae. J dinise segetes feraces. 

15 B.C.- 



that he gave the name of Syracuse to a room in his house which 
he used as a retreat when he wished to suffer no interruption. 
Roman policy had decreed that Sicily was to belong to the Latin 
West, not to the Greek East, with which once she had been so 
constantly connected ; and for centuries to come, embosomed in the 
centre of the Empire, she plays no part in history, such as she had 
played in the past and was destined to play again in the distant 

Sect. V. — Rsetia, Noricum, and the Alpine Districts. 

§ 10. From the province adjoining Italy on the south, we pass 
to the lands on its northern frontier, which it devolved upon 
Augustus to conquer and to shape. The towns of northern Italy 
were constantly exposed to the descents of unreclaimed Alpine 
tribes, who could not be finally quelled as long as they possessed 
a land of refuge beyond the mountains, among the kindred bar- 
barians of Rsetia. For the security of Italy it was imperative 
to subdue these troublesome neighbours, and in order to do so 
effectively it was necessary to occupy Rsetia and Vindelicia. This 
task was accomplished without difficulty in 15 B.C., by the stepsons 
of the Emperor. Drusus invaded Rsetia from the south, and 
vanquished the enemy in battle.* Tiberius, who was then 
governor of Gaul, marched from the north to assist him, and the 
Yindelici were defeated in a naval action on the waters of the 
Lake of Brigantium.f The tribes of the " restless Genauni " and 
the " swift Breuni " appear to have played a prominent part in the 
Vindelician war. J The decisive battle which gave Rsetia to 
Rome was fought near the sources of the Danube, under " the 
fortunate auspices" of Tiberius, on the 1st of August.§ By 
these campaigns the countries which corresponded to Bavaria, 
Tyrol, and eastern Switzerland became Roman ; a new military 
frontier was secured, and direct communications were established 
between northern Italy and the upper Danube and upper Rhine. 
The military prQvince of Rsetia was placed under an imperial 
prefect, and the troops which used to be stationed in Cisalpine 
Gaul could now be transferred to an advanced position. Augusta 

* Horace, Odes, iv. 4. 17 : 

Videre Raetis bella sub Alpibus 
Drusum gerentem Vindelici. 

f Now Lake Constance. Brigantium 

% Horace, Odes, iv. 14. 9 : 

Milite nam tuo 
Drtisus Genaunos, implacidum genus, 

Breunosque veloces et arces 
Alpibus impositas tremendis 
Deiecit acer plus vice simplici. 
$ Horace, ib. 14 : 

Maior Neronum mox grave proBlium 

Commisit immanesque Eastos 

Auspiciis pepulit secundis. 


Vindelicum was founded as a military station near the frontier of 
the new province, and still preserves under the name Augsburg the 
name of the ruler who did so much for Romanising western 
Europe. For Romanising Rsetia itseif, indeed, neither he nor his 
successors did much ; no Roman towns were founded here, as in 
the neighbouring province of Noricum. 

The conquest of the dangerous Salassi, who inhabited the valley 
of the Duria, between the Graian and Pennine Alps, was success- 
fully accomplished by Terentius Murena, brother-in-law of Maecenas 
in 25 B.C. The people was exterminated, and a body of praetorian 
soldiers was settled in the valley, through which roads ran over the 
Graian Alps to Lugudunum, and over the Pennine into Rsetia. 
The new city was called Augusta Praetoria ; the Empcror s s name 
survives in the modern Aosta, where the old Roman walls and 
gates are still to be seen. The western Alps between Gaul and 
Italy were formed into two small districts, the Maritime Alps, 
and the Cottian Alps, of which the former was governed by 
imperial prefects.* At first the Cottian district formed a de- 
pendent state, not under a Roman commander, but under its own 
prince Cottius, from whom it derived its name (regnum Cottii). 
Owing to his ready submission, he was left in possession of his 
territory, with the title prcefectus civitatium. His capital Segusio 
survives as Susa, and the arch which he erected in honour of 
his over-lord Augustus (8 B.C.) is still standing. Through this 
"prefecture" (as it seems to have been) ran the Via Cottia 
from .Augusta Taurinorum (Turin) to Arelate (Aries). The paci- 
fication of the Alps, though' it presented nothing brilliant to 
attract historians, conferred a solid and lasting benefit on Italy, 
and Italy gratefully recognised this by a monument which she 
set up in honour of the Emperor on a hill on the Mediterranean 
coast, near Monaco. The reduction of 46 Alpine peoples is recorded 
in the inscription, which has been preserver). 

Few relics of the Roman occupation have been found in Raetia ; 
it is otherwise with the neighbouring province of Noricum, which 
included the lands now called Styria and Carinthia, along with a 
part of Carniola and most of Austria. Here traffic had prepared 
the way for Roman subjugation ; Roman customs and the Latin 
tongue were known beyond the Carnic Alps, and when the time 
came for the land to become directly dependent on Rome, no 
difficulty was experienced. An occasion presented itself in 16 B.C., 
when some of the Noric tribes joined their neighbours the 

There was also the district of the | does not seem to nave been organised as 
Graian Alps, under a procurator ; but it | early as the time of Augustus. 

25 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



Pannonians in a plundering incursion into Istria.* At first treated 
as a dependent kingdom, Noricum soon passed into the condition 
of an imperial province under a pefect or procurator, but continued 
to be called regnum Noricum. No legions were stationed in either 
Ksetia or Noricum, only auxiliary troops ; but the former province 
was held in check by legions of the Rhine army at Yindonissa,f and 
Noricum was likewise surveyed by legions of the Pannonian army, 
stationed at Poetovio, on the Drava (Dra^e). The organisation of 
Noricum on the model of Italy was carried out by the Emperor 
Claudius. The land immediately beyond the Julian Alps, with 
the towns of Emona and Nauportus, belonged to Illyricum, not to 
Noricum, but it subsequently became a part of Italy. 

The occupation of Rastia and Noricum was of great and perma- 
nent importance for the military defence of the Empire against the 
barbarians of central Europe. A line of communication was secured 
between the armies on the Danube and the armies on the Rhine. 

Sect. VI. — Illyricum and the H^imus lands. 

§ 11. Pannonia and Dalmatia. — The subjugation of Illyricum 
was the work of the first Emperor. Istria and Dalmatia were 
counted as Roman lands under the Republic, but the tribes of the 
interior maintained their independence, and plundered their civilised 
neighbours in Macedonia. Roman legions had been destroyed, and 
the eagles captured by these untamed peoples, in 48 B.C. under 
Gabinius, and in 44 B.C. under Vatinius. To avenge these defeats 
was demanded by Roman honour, and to pacify the interior districts 
was demanded by Roman policy. The younger Caesar undertook 
this task, when he had dealt with Sextus Pompeius, and discharged 
it with energy and success. In 35 B.C. he subdued the smaller 
tribes all along the Hadriatic coast, beginning with Doclea (which 
is now Montenegro) near the borders of the Macedonian province, 
and ending with the Iapydes who lived in the Alpine district north- 
east of Istria. At the same time his fleet subdued the pirates who. 
infested the coast islands, especially Curzola and Meleda. The 
Iapydes, whose depredations extended to northern Italy, and who 
had ventured to attack places like Tergeste and Aquileia, offered a 
strenuous resistance. When the Roman army approached, most of 
the population assembled in their town Arupium, but as Caesar 
drew nearer fled into the forests. The strong fortress of Metulum,J 

* The "None sword" was proverbial. 
Cp. Horace. Odes, i. 16, 9, said Epodes, xvii. 


f The name is preserved in Windisch, 
east of Basel. 
X Mottling. 


built on two summits of a wooded hill, gave more trouble. It was 
defended by a garrison of 3000 chosen warriors, who foiled all the 
Roman plans of attack, until Caesar, with Agrippa by his side, led his 
soldiers against the walls. On this occasion Caesar received some 
bodily injuries. The energy of the Romans, inspirited by the 
example of their leader, induced the besieged to capitulate ; but 
when the Romans on entering the, town demanded the surrender of 
their arms, the Iapydes, thinking that they were betrayed, made a 
desperate resistance in which most of them were slain ; and the 
remainder, having slain the women and children, set fire to their 

Having thus subdued the Iapydes, Caesar marched through their 
country down the river Colapis (Kulpa), which flows into the 
Save, and laid siege to the Pannonian fortress of Siscia (whose 
name is preserved in Sissek), situated at the junction of the two 
streams. It was not the first time that a Roman force had appeared 
before the walls of Siscia, but it was the first time that a Roman 
force did not appear in vain. Having thrown a bridge across the 
river, Caesar surrounded the stronghold with earthworks and ditches, 
and with the assistance of some tribes on the Danube, got together 
a small flotilla on the Save, so that he could operate against the 
town by water as well as by land. The Pannonian friends of the 
besieged place made an attempt to relieve it, but were beaten back 
with loss ; and having held out for thirty days, Siscia was taken by 
storm. A strong position was thus secured for further operations, 
whether against the Pannonians, or against the Dacians. A Roman 
fortress was built, and garrisoned with twenty-five cohorts under 
the command of Fufius Greminus. Caesar returned to Italy towards 
the end of the year (35 B.C.), but during the winter the conquered 
Pannonian tribe rebelled, and Fufius came into great straits. Dark 
rumours of his situation, for he was unable to send a sure message, 
reached Caesar, who was at that moment planning an expedition to 
Britain. He immediately hastened to the relief of Siscia, and let 
the Britannic enterprise fall through. Having delivered Fufius 
from the danger, he turned to Dalmatia and spent the rest of the 
year 34 B.C. in reducing the inland tribes, which now, forgetting 
their tribal feuds, combined in a great federation to fight for their 
freedom. They mustered an army 12,000 strong, and took up a 
position at Promona (now Teplin, north-east of Sebenico) a place im- 
pregnable by nature, and strengthened further by art. The name of 
their leader was Versus. By a skilful piece of strategy Caesar forced 
the enemy to give up their advanced lines of defence, and retreat 
into the fortress, which he prepared to reduce by starving the 
garrison out and for this purpose built a' wall five miles in 

27 B.c-14 a.d. ILLYRICUM. 97 

circuit. Another large Dalmatian force under Testimus came to 
relieve the place, but was completely defeated. The defenders of 
Promona simultaneously made an excursion against the besiegers, 
but were driven back, and some of their pursuers penetrated into 
the fortress with them. A few days later it was surrendered. The 
fall of Promona put an end to the war, in so far as it was waged by 
the Dalmatians in common. But warfare continued here and 
there; various tribes and fortresses held out by themselves. It 
was necessary to besiege Setovia, and Csesar was wounded there in 
his knee. He returned after this to Eome, to enter upon his second 
consulship (33 B.C.), leaving the completion of his work to Statilius 
Taurus, who for his services on this occasion received a large share 
in the Illyrian spoils, and laid the foundation of his great wealth. 
But Ca3sar laid down his consulate on the very day on which he 
assumed it, and returned to Dalmatia, in order to receive the sub- 
mission of the conquered peoples. The eagles which had been 
captured from the army of Gabinius were restored, and 700 boys 
were given to the conqueror as hostages. 

The civilising of these Illyrian lands was now begun in earnest; 
the chief towns on the coast were raised to the position of Italian 
communities; and a new epoch began in the history of Salonas, 
Iader, Pola, Tergeste, and other places, which made their mark in 
the later history of Europe. It was now, doubtless, that colonies 
were settled at Salon as, Pola and Emona. Thus Salonae became in 
full official language, Colonia Martia Julia Salonse, and Emona — • 
which corresponds to Laibach, the capital of Carniola — became 
Colonia Julia Emona. Pola, called Colonia Pietas Julia Pola; 
may have become in some measure for Illyricum, what Lugu- 
dunum was for the Three Gauls, in so far as a temple of Rom£ 
and Augustus was built there during the lifetime of the first 

A change was also made in the administration of Illyricum 
Hitherto it had been joined to the government of Cisalpine Gaul, 
with the exception of a small strip of land in the south of Dalmatia; 
which was annexed to Macedonia. But after Csesar's campaigns, 
Illyricum was promoted to the dignity of a separate province, 
bounded by the Savus in the north and the Drilo in the south. At 
the division of provinces in 27 b.c. it was assigned to the senate. 
But in the nature of things it could not long remain senatorial. 
The presence of legions on the northern frontier could not be 
dispensed with, and it devolved upon the governor to watch over 
Noricum on the one hand and Mcesia on the other. Such powers 
and responsibilities were not likely to be left to a proconsul : and 


accordingly soon after the conquest of Rastia, when hostilities in 
Pannonia seemed likely to break out, we find Agrippa sent thither 
(13 B.C.), invested " with greater powers than all the governors out 
of Italy." The terror of Agrippa's name held the Pannonians in 
check, but on his death in the following year they took up arms, 
and Tiberius was appointed to succeed Agrippa. He brought the 
rebellious tribes to submission, but in the next year (11 b.c.) was 
again compelled to take the field against them, and also to 
suppress a revolt of the Dalmatians. These events led to the 
transference of Illyricum from the senate to the Emperor. Both the 
Dalmatian subjects and the Pannonian neighbours required the 
constant presence of military forces. At the same time the northern 
frontier of the province advanced from the Savus to the Dravus, in 
consequence of the successes of Tiberius in his three campaigns 
(12-10 b.c). Pcetovio, on the borders of Noricum, now became the 
advanced station of the legions, instead of Siscia. This extension of 
territory soon led to a division of Illyricum into two provinces, Pan- 
nonia and Dalmatia, both imperial. The government of Pannonia 
was specially important, because the intervention of the legatus 
might be called for either in Noricum or in Moesia. It is well to 
notice that the nam.e Illyricum was used in two ways. In its 
stricter sense it included Pannonia and Dalmatia; in a wider 
sense (and specially for financial purposes) it took in Noricum 
and Mcesia, as coming within the sphere of the governors of 
Illyricum proper. 

§ 12. Moesia and Thrace. — The governors of Macedonia under 
the Republic were constantly troubled by the hostilities of the rude 
Illyric and Thracian peoples on the north and east. The Dardanians 
of the upper Margus, the Dentheletse of the Strymon, the Triballi 
between the Timacus and the (Escus, the Bessi beyond Khodope 
were troublesome neighbours. The lands between the Danube and 
Mount Hasmus, which now form the principality of Bulgaria, were 
inhabited by the Moesians, and beyond the Danube was the 
dominion of the Dacians, whom the Romans had reason to regard 
as a most formidable enemy. The Thracians in the south, the 
Moesians in the centre, and the Dacians in the north, were people 
of the same race, speaking the same tongue. It was evidently 
a very important matter for the Roman government to break 
this line, and to bring Mcesia and Thrace directly or indirectly 
under Roman sway, so as to make the Ister the frontier of the 

The occasion of the conquest of Mcesia was an invasion of the 
Bastarnae, a powerful people, perhaps of German race, who lived 

27 B.C.-14 A.D. 



between the Danube and the Dniester, in 29 B.C. As long as they 
confined their hostilities to the Mcesians, Dardanians, and Triballi, 
the matter did not concern the governor of Macedonia, Marcus 
Licinius Crassus, grandson of the rival of Pompey and Csesar. But 
when they attacked the Dentheleta3, allies of Home, he was called 
on to interfere. The Bastarnse retired at his command, but he 
followed them as they retreated and defeated them where the river 
Cibrus flows into the Danube. *But at the same time he turned his 
arms against Mcesia, and reduced, not without considerable toil and 
hardships, almost all the tribes of that country. He had also to 
deal with the Serdi, who dwelt in the centre of the peninsula under 
Mount Scomius, in the direct way between Macedonia and Mcesia. 
These he conquered, and took their chief place, Serdica, which is now 
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. He was also compelled to reduce the 
unfriendly tribes of Thrace. In . that country the worship of 
Dionysus was cultivated with wild enthusiasm,* and the possession 
of one specially venerable grove, consecrated to that god — perhaps 
the very grove in which Alexander the Great had once sacrificed — 
was a subject of discord between two powerful rival tribes, the 
Odrysse and the Bessi. The Bessi were then in possession; but 
Crassus took the sacred place from them and gave it to the friendly 
Odrysse, and constituted their prince the representative of Roman 
power in Thrace, with lordship over the other peoples, and protector 
of the Greek towns on the coast. Thus Thrace became a depen- 
dent kingdom. 4 

That Mcesia also became, at first, a dependency of the same kind, 
before she became a regular province, seems likely. The Greek 
cities on the coast were probably placed under the protection of the 
Thracian kingdom, while the rest of Mcesia and Triballia may have 
been united under one of the native princes.f After 27 B.C. it 
would doubtless have devolved upon the governor of Illyricum, no 
longer upon the governor of Macedonia, to intervene in case of 

The submission of the Thracians was not permanent, and the 
Odrysians were not equal to the task imposed upon them. The 
Bessi longed to recover the sanctuary of Dionysus, and a sacred 
war broke out in 13 B.C., which resulted in the overthrow of the 
princes of the Odrysse. The suppression of this insurrection ought 

* Horace refers to their drunken brawls 
in Odes, i. 27. 1 : 

Natis in usum lastitiae scyphis 
Pugnare Thracum est. 
Cp. ii., 7. 26 : Non ego sanius bacchabor 

Edonis. The Edoni were a Thracian 

f Possibly with the title jprsefectus 
civitatium Moesiee et Triballise; like the 
title of Cottius. 




Chap. vi. 

perhaps to have devolved upon the governor of Illyricum, but he 
had his hands full in his own province ; the proconsul of Macedonia 
had no army at his disposal. Accordingly recourse was had to the 
troops stationed in Galatia, and Lucius Piso, the imperial legatus in 
that province^ was summoned to cross into Europe and quell the 
insurgents who were threatening to invade Asia, having established 
themselves in theThracian Chersonese (11 B.C.). Piso put down the 
revolt successfully, and it was probably soon after this that Moesia 
was converted into a regular Roman province, though Thrace still 
remained under the rule of the dependent Odrysian prince Rhceme- 
talces, who, with his son Cotys, was devotedly attached to Rome 
and unpopular in Thrace. 

Thrace, though not yet Greek, must even now be reckoned to the 
Greek half of the Roman world. But its close connection with 
Mcesia naturally led us to consider it in this place, rather than in 
the following chapter. Moesia itself belonged partly to the Latin, 
and partly to the Greek division. The cities which grew under 
Roman influence in western Moesia were Latin ; the cities on the coast 
of the Pontus were Greek, and formed a distinct world of their own. 
But most of the inhabitants of these cities were not Greeks, but Getae 
and Sarmatians, and even the true Greeks were to some extent 
barbarised by intercourse with the natives.§ The poet Ovid, who 
was banished to Tomi, gives a lively description of the wild life 
there — the ploughmen ploughing armed, the arrows of ferocious 
marauders flying over the walls of the town, natives clad in skins, 
and equipped with bow and quiver, riding through the streets. 
Getic continued to be spoken in Moesia long after the Roman 
conquest, like Illyric in Illyricum ; and Ovid says that it was 
quite needful for any one resident in Tomi to know it. He wrote 
himself a poem in the Getic tongue ; and we should be glad to 
barter some of his Latin elegiacs for his exercise in that lost 

§ 13. The subjugation of the vast extent of territory, reaching 
from the sources of the Rhine to the mouths of the Danube, was a 
military necessity. The conquest of each province, while it served 
some immediate purpose at the time, was also part of an immense 
scheme for the defence of the Empire from the Northern Ocean to 

% Thus we may best explain the state- 
ment oi Dion, that Piso was governing 
Pamphylia, and was ordered thence 
to Thrace. Mommsen, rejecting this 
statement, regards Piso as legatus of 

$ Horace describes the Getae thus, Odes 
iii. 24. II: 

Kigidi Geta>, 
Imme ata quibus iugera liberas 

Fruges et Cererem ferunt, 
Nee cultura placet longior annua, kc. 

27 B.C -14 A.D. 



the Euxine. It was designed that the armies in Pannonia should 
be in constant touch with the armies on the Rhine, and that 
operations in both quarters should be carried out in connection. 
Central Europe and the Germans who inhabited it presented a hard 
and urgent problem to the Roman government ; but before telling 
how they attempted to solve it, it will be well to complete our survey 
of the subject and dependent lands. 

Coin : Altar of Rome and Augustus at Lugudunum. 

Triumph of Tiberius. 



§ 1. Function of Roman rule in the East. § 2. Macedonia, Achaia, and 
Free Greek States. Nicopolis and the Actian games. The Delphic 
Amphictyony. § 3. Asia and Bithynia. The provincial diets. Asi- 
archs and Bithyniarc'is. § 4. Galatia and Pamphylia. § 5. The 
dependent states in Asia Minor ; the Lycian Confederacy ; Cappa- 
docia ; Ponttjs ; Paphlagonia ; Little Armenia. The states of 
the Tauric peninsula ; Bose>orus and Chersonesus. § 6". The insular 
provinces^ Cyprus and Crete, with Cyrene. § 7. Syria, and the 
neighbouring dependent states: Nabatea, Judea, Commagene, Chalcis, 
Abila, Emesa, Palmyra. King Herod and his Hellenism. § 8. Egypt. 

§ 1. The Romans, who were the teachers of the peoples whom they 
conquered in the West, were themselves pupils in the East. In 
Gaul, in Spain, in northern Italy, in Illyricum they broke new 
ground and appeared as the pioneers of civilisation ; but in the 
eastern countries which came under their dominion they entered 
upon an inheritance, which they were called upon indeed to 



27 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



preserve and improve, but where there was no room for them to 
originate new ideas of development. Rome merely carried on the 
work of Alexander the Great and his successors, and she was proud 
to be entrusted with the task. She not only left Greek what was 
already Greek, but she endeavoured to spread Greek civilisation in 
those parts of her eastern lands where it had not taken root. The 
sole exception to this rule of policy was Sicily ; and this was due to 
its geographical position. 

The subject lands of the east naturally fall into four groups : (1) 
Macedonia and Greece ; (2) Asia Minor, in connection with which 
may be considered the Tauric peninsula ; (3) Syria and the neigh- 
bouring vassal kingdoms ; (4) Egypt, which stands by itself both 
geographically and because, strictly speaking, it was not a province. 

Sect. I. — Macedonia, Achaia, and the Free Greek States. 

§ 2. The institution of the Empire was attended by a change in 
the administration of Macedonia and Greece, which under the 
Republic had formed one large province. Augustus divided it into 
two smaller provinces, Macedonia and Achaia, both of w T hich he 
assigned to the senate. This division, however, did not altogether 
coincide with the boundary between Greece and Macedonia. The 
province of Achaia was smaller than Hellas, and the new province 
of Macedonia larger than Macedonia proper. For Thessaly, 
iEtolia, Acarnania and Epirus * were placed under the rule of the 
northern proconsul. Thus Mount (Eta, instead of Mount Olympus, 
N was the boundary between Macedonia and Greece . 

Imperial Macedonia was thus smaller in extent and importance 
than republican Macedonia. It also lost its military significance 
as a frontier district, through the extension of Roman rule over the 
neighbouring lands north and east. Greek civilisation, though it 
had flourished for centuries in the old cities on both the seas which 
wash the coasts of Macedonia, never penetrated far into the high- 
lands. Eastward of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium, northward of 
Thessalonica and the Chalcidic peninsula, there were few Greek 
cities to form centres of culture. Augustus settled colonies of 
Roman citizens in many of the old Greek towns ; in Dyrrhachium, 
the old Epidamnos, and in Byllis, on the Adriatic coast ; in Thracian 
Philippi ; in Pella ; in Dium on the Thermaic gulf; in Cassandria on 

* The position of Epirus in the 
provincial scheme under the early empire 
cannot be determined with certainty. It 
seems probable that most of Epirus be- 

longed to Macedonia. Tacitus, however, 
speaks of Nicopolis as a city of Achaia 
(Ann., ii. 53), in 17 a.d. But Nicopolis 
held a singular position. 


the bay of Pagasse. But his purpose was merely to provide for 
veteran soldiers, not to Komanise the province. In general, the 
towns retained their Macedonian constitutions and politarchs ; and 
they formed a federation w ith a diet (koivov). The capital of the 
province was Thessalonica, and this alone stamped it as Greek. 

Thessaly, although placed under the government of the proconsul 
of Macedonia, held a position quite apart from the lands north of 
Mount Olympus. It was a purely Greek district, and its cities 
formed a federation of their own, distinct from that of Macedonia. 
The diet used to meet in Larisa, whose fertile plain was so famous.* 
Julius Csesar had accorded the right of free self-government to all 
the Thessalians, but, for some act of misconduct, Augustus with- 
drew the privilege; and the Thessalians, with the single exception 
of Pharsalus, were degraded from the position of allies to that of 

The Roman government — whether republican or imperial — 
always treated the venerable cities of Greece with a consideration 
and tenderness, which they showed to no other conquered lands. 
The reverence which was inspired in the Romans by the city of 
virgin Pallas, by " patient Laced a3mon," by oracular Delphi, is 
displayed not only in their literature, but in their government. 
Athens preserved a part of her dominion as well as her independence ; 
she could still regard herself as a sovran city. 

Thus Greece fell politically into two parts : federate Greece and 
subject Greece. (1) First of the free federate states comes Athens, 
with the whole of Attica, and various other dependencies. On the 
mainland, she possessed Haliartos in Boeotia and the surrounding 
district ; but, as in old days, most of her dominion was insular. 
Among the Cyclades, she had Ceos and Delos; in the northern 
iEgean, Lemnos, Imbros and Scyros. The island of Salamis was 
also recovered for her in the reign of Augustus, by the private 
liberality of a rich man, Julius Nicanor, whom the grateful Athenians 
named " the new Themistocles." In spite of her privileged position, 
perhaps in consequence of it, Athens often gave the Roman govern- 
ment trouble ; a revolt in the reign of Augustus is recorded. Next 
to Athens, in northern Greece, come three famous Boeotian towns, 
Thespia3, Tanagra, and Platsea; in Phocis likewise three, Delphi, 
Elatea, and Abas ; in Locris, Amphissa. In the Peloponnesus, Sparta 
was permitted to retain her dominion over northern Laconia, while 
the inhabitants of the southern half of that country were formed 
into eighteen communities of "free Laconians," Eleuthero-lacones. 
Dyme in Achaaa was also a free city, and it is highly probable, 
though not certain, that Elis and Olympia belonged to the free 
* Larisae campus opimae, Hor., Odes, i. 7. 11. 

27 b.c-14 a.d. GREECE. 105 

communities. The Roman government interfered as little as 
possible with the affairs of these free states. Athens coined her 
own drachmae and obols, and the head of Caesar never appeared on 
her coins. But she and her fellows knew that their privileges 
might at any moment be withdrawn, as the example of the 
Thessalians taught them. 

Patrae and Corinth, as Roman colonies, held a somewhat different 
position. Corinth, like Carthage, rose again under the auspices of 
Julius Caesar, as Colonia Julia (or Laus Julia), and rapidly 
recovered her prosperity, thanks to her geographical position. 
Patrae, in Achaea, was founded by Augustus, who settled there 
a large number of Italian veterans and granted to the new town 
dominion over the Locrian haven Naupactus, which lay over 
against it on the opposite coast. 

(2) The rest of Greece (with the exception of the less developed 
districts in the west, iEtolia, Acarnania, Epirus) constituted the 
province of Achaia. The residence of the proconsul was at Corinth. 
The sense of national unity in these subject states was encouraged 
by Augustus. He revived the Achaean league, in an extended 
form, as the league of " Boeotians, Euboeans, Locrians, Phocians, and 
Dorians," or briefly the league of the " Achaeans." In later times it 
assumed the more pretentious name of the league of the Panhellenes. 
The assemblies of this association used to meet in Argos, which was 
thus in some measure recompensed for her exclusion from the list of 
free communities. 

One important and singular state has still to be mentioned. On 
the northern lip of the mouth of the Ambracian gulf, near the scene 
of the great battle in which he won the lordship of the Roman 
world, Augustus founded a new city. Nicopolis, " the city of 
victory/' rose on the very spot where the main body of his army had 
been encamped. This foundation was not to be a Roman colony ; 
it was to be a Greek city like Thessalonica, and it was founded, in 
the same way, by synoecizing the small communities of the neigh- 
bourhood. Nicopolis, like Athens and Sparta, was a free and sovran 
state. Acarnania, the island of Leucas, the neighbouring districts 
of Epirus, a part of iEtolia, were placed under her control. On 
the opposite promontory, a new temple of Apollo was built at 
Actium, and quinquennial games were instituted in honour of that 
god, on the model of the Olympian, and actually called " Olympian " 
as well as " Actian." The cycle of four years was an " Actiad." 

Nicopolis ancT its dependencies belonged politically neither to 

Macedonia nor to Achaia ; but they were more in touch with the 

southern than with the northern province. The great bond of 

union among the European Greeks, under Roman rule, was the 



Delphic Amphictyony, and in this assembly, as reorganised by 
Augustus, Nicopolis had a prominent place. The chief reform 
introduced by that Emperor was the extension of the institution 
to Macedonia and Nicopolis ; but as many votes were assigned to 
the new city as to the whole of the Macedonian province.* The 
functions of the Amphictyony were purely religious. It ordered 
the sacred festivals and administered the large income of the temple 
of Delphi. From a political point of view, it served the same 
purpose as the assembly of the three Gallic provinces which met at 
Lyons round the altar of Augustus ; it helped to maintain a feeling 
of unity and a sense of common nationality. 

Sect. II. — Asia Minor. Kingdoms on the Euxine. Islands. 

§ 3. Asia and Bithynia. — From the Greeks of the mother-land 
we pass to the Greeks of Lesser Asia. Here Rome had never to 
struggle for dominion as in the other parts of the empire of 
Alexander the Great and his successors. The provinces of " Asia " 
and Bithynia dropped, as it were, into her arms. Asia was the 
kingdom of the Attalids of Pergamum, and was bequeathed to the 
Roman people by Attalus III. ; Bithynia became Roman in the 
same way by the testament of King Nicomedes. Both these 
provinces were assigned to the senate and governed by proconsuls. 
Asia extended from the shores of the Propontis to the borders of 
Lycia ; eastward it included Phrygia, and on the west took in the 
islands along the coast. Bithynia was no longer confined to the 
original kingdom of Nicomedes. It had been increased on the east 
side by Pontus, after the overthrow of the empire of Mithradates 
by Pompey; and it stretched across the Bosphorus into Europe, 
so as to take in Byzantium. 

In the kingdom of the Attalids little was left for the Romans to 
do in the way of Hellenisation. In the interior of the country 
there were many Hellenistic cities, and the growth of city-life 
required no fostering from the new mistress. The . colonies of 
Parium, and Alexandria in the Troas, founded by Augustus, were 
for the purpose of settling veteran soldiers. It was otherwise in 
the kingdom of Nicomedes. Here Greek culture had not taken root 
so deeply or so widely ; Bithynia was far less developed than Asia. 
Here accordingly there was room for Rome to step in and carry on 
the work of Hellenisation; and she gladly undertook the task. 
Pontus, which was under the governor of Bithynia, was more 

* The entire number of votes was 30 ; i which went round in turn to Corinth, 
of these Nicopolis had 6, Athens 1, Delphi Megara, Sicyon, and Argos. 
2. The Peloponnesian Dorians had only 1, ' 

27 b.c-14 a.d. ASIA AND B1THYNIA. 107 

backward still There were no Greek centres there, like Prusa and 
Nicaea in Bithynia; so that the Hellenisation of that country 
practically began under the Empire. The two most important 
towns on the coast of Pontus, were Sinope, where a Eoman colony 
had been planted, and Tra^ezus, which was the station of the 
Pontic fleet. 

In Asia Minor, as in other parts of the Empire, Augustus 
promoted the institution of provincial councils. The deputies of the 
various cities met yearly in a centre, and the assembly could make 
known to the Eoman governor the wishes of the province. But this 
institution took a special shape and colour by its association with 
the worship of the Emperor. In 29 B.C. Caesar (not yet Augustus) 
authorised the diets of Asia and Bithynia to build temples to himself 
in Pergamum and Nicomedia. Hence the custom of paying divine 
honours to the Emperor during his lifetime spread throughout the 
provinces ; in Italy and Rome such worship was not yielded to him 
till he was deified after death. This worship involved the existence 
of high priests, who in the Asiatic provinces became very important 
persons, and gave their name to the year. Whereas in European 
Greece the ancient public festivals — Olympian, Pythian, Isthmian 
and Nemean, — still lived, and the new Actian feast was celebrated 
in honour of Apollo, in Asia the public feasts were connected with 
the cult of the Emperor. The president of the provincial diet, the 
Asiarch in Asia, the Bithyniarch in Bithynia, conducted the 
celebration of these festivals and defrayed the costs ; so that those 
offices could only be held by rich men. There was no lack of 
wealthy folk in Asia, the province " of five hundred cities." It had 
suffered a good deal from piracy and from the Mithradatic war; 
and Augustus, in order to restore prosperity, resorted to the 
measure of cancelling old debts. Ehodes was the only state that 
did not take advantage of this permission. But Asia soon recovered, 
and her bright cities enjoyed under the Empire tranquillity and 

§ 4. Galatia and Pamphylia. — When the provinces were divided 
in 27 B.C. between the senate and the Emperor, Asia Minor was 
only in small part provincial. Besides Asia and Bithynia, only 
eastern Cilicia was subject to a Eoman governor. The rest of the 
country consisted of dependent states, holding the same relation to 
Rome as Mauretania in the west. Chief among these "vassal" 
states was the kingdom of Galatia, then ruled by Amyntas. Celtic 
civilisation held its own for a long time against Hellenism in this 
miniature Gaul, which was set down in a land of Hellenistic states, 
somewhat like Massilia, that miniature Greece, set down in a land 
* Horace, Epistles, ii. 3. 5 : An pingues Asiae campi collesqiie morantur? 


of Celtic cantons. The visitor who came from western Galatia (the 
Greek name of Gaul) to eastern Galatia might hear spoken in the 
streets of Pessinus and Ancyra the language with which he was 
familiar in the streets of Lugudunum. Here, too, in the new Gaul 
were the same double names of towns as in the old Gaul, the name 
of the place and the name of the tribe. As Gallic Mediolanum is 
Santones (Saintes), as Lutetia is Parisii, so Ancyra is called by 
the name of the Tectosages, Pessinus by that of the Tolistobogii. 
But in Asia the Celts did not long maintain the purity of their 
race; Gallic and Greek blood were mingled, and the people were 
called Gallo-Greeks, just as in Gaul there came to be Gallo-Romans. 
The princes of Galatia were ambitious of empire and were rivals 
of Mithradates. In the Mithradatic war they stood fast by Rome. 
King Deiotarus, who had played a prominent part then, died in 
40 B.C., and his kingdom passed to one of his officers, Amyntas, in 
36 B.C., through the favour of Marcus Antonius, who charged the 
new sovran with the subjugation of Pisidia. The dominion of 
Amyntas extended over those mountainous countries, south of 
Galatia, which have always been so hard to civilise — Pisidia, 
Lycaonia, Isauria and western Cilicia. The fall of his patron 
Antonius made no difference in the position of Amyntas; Cgesar 
allowed him to remain where he was. But when he died, in 25 B.C., 
Galatia was transformed into a Roman province, and (like all new 
provinces after 27 b.c) was administered by an imperial governor* 

Pamphylia, over which the authority of Amyntas stretched, was 
now separated from Galatia, and made a distinct province; but 
Pisidia and Lycaonia still went with Galatia. In the mountainous 
regions of these districts the Hellenistic kings had done little for 
civilisation, and there was a great field for the plantation of new 
cities. Antioch, Seleucia, Apollonia in northern Pisidia, Iconium 
and Laodicea Catacecaumene in Lycaonia, were indeed something ; 
but they were only a beginning. Augustus founded the Roman 
colonies of Lystra and Parlais in Lycaonia, and Cremna in Pisidia ; 
and his successors carried on the work. Many remains of theatres 
and aqueducts in these lands tell of prosperity under the early 
Empire ; but even at the best times Mount Taurus was the home of 
wild mountaineers, always ready, under a weak government, to 
pursue the trade of brigandage. 

§ 5. The Dependent States in Asia Minor and on the 
Euxine. — The rest of Asia Minor did not become provincial until 
after the death of Augustus. During his reign the Lycian con- 
federacy, once subject to Rhodes but independent after the Third 
Macedonian War, was permitted to retain its autonomy. The 
kingdom of Cappadocia was ruled by King Archelaus. Polemon 

27 B.c-14 a.d. GALATIA. BOSPORUS. 109 

ruled over a Pontic kingdom, consisting of the territory between 
Cerasus and Trapezus, and also the land of Colchis. There were 
three distinct vassal states in Cilicia. In Paphlagonia there were 
some small principalities held by descendants of King Deiotarus, 
but these came to an end in 7 B.C. and were joined to Galatia. 
East of Galatia, north of Cappadocia, was the kingdom of Little 
Armenia, of which more will be said in the next chapter, where 
the position of Great Armenia will also be described, a kingdom 
dependent by turns on the Roman and the Parthian empires. 

One state, or rather two states, which up to very late times 
continued Roman dependencies, not incorporated in the provincial 
system, still call for notice. These are two cities of the Tauric 
peninsula ; Bosporus or Panticapasum, on the eastern promontory 
at the entrance to the Palus Mseotis, and Chersonesus or Heraclea 
at the opposite, western side.* Bosporus was governed by kings, 
(the original title was archon), who also ruled over Phanagoria, 
on the opposite mainland, and Theudosia, a town on the peninsula. 
Chersonesus was a republic. Both states had been conquered by 
Mithradates and formed into a Bosporan realm. When he was 
overthrown, Bosporus, after some struggles, came finally into the 
hands of Asandros, who held it until his death (c. 16 B.C.) and 
left the kingdom to his wife Dynamis. By marriage with her 
and the permission of Augustus, Polemon, king of Pontus, then 
obtained the kingdom, and was succeeded by his children. But 
the republic of the western city was no longer subject to its eastern 
neighbour, though it might regard the Basileus of Bosporus as a 
protector in time of need. These cities on the distant border of 
Scythia played an important part in commerce. The Greek colonies 
on the northern shore of the Euxine, Tyras at the mouth of the 
river of like name, Olbia near the mouth of the Hypanis, although 
they sometimes received Roman protection, never took a permanent 
place in the Empire ; lonely and remote, they were left to hold 
their own, as best they could, in the midst of barbarous peoples. 

§ 6. Cypeus, Ckete, and Cykene. — In the western Mediterra- 
nean there were two insular provinces, Sicily and Sardinia ; so like- 
wise in the eastern parts of the same sea there were two insular 
provinces, Cyprus and Crete. Crete, however, was not an entire 
province; it had been joined by its conqueror Metellus with the 
Cyrenaic pentapolis. The joint province of il Crete and Cyrene " 
was assigned to the senate. The land of Cyrene, remarkable for 
its delightful, invigorating climate, was also blessed by freedom 
from political troubles throughout its history as a Roman province. 

* Bosporus and Chersonesus (shortened into Cherson) correspond to the modern 
Kertsch and Sebastopol, 


Like Asia andBithynia, it had been willed to the Roman republic 
by Ptolemy Apion, its last Macedonian king (96 B.C.). Cyprus was 
at first imperial, but in 22 B.C. Augustus transferred it, along with 
Gallia Narbonensis, to the senate. The early history of this island 
had turned, like that of Sicily, on the struggle between the Phoeni- 
cians and the Greeks. Under Roman rule it would have enjoyed 
unbroken tranquillity, but for the large population of Jews who 
sometimes rebelled. Even the peaceful Cyrenaica was at times 
disturbed by the agitations of the same race. Crete, once the 
home of piracy was lucky enough to play no part in history as 
long as the Mediterranean was a wholly Roman sea. 

Sect. III. — The Neighbouring Dependent Kingdoms and Syria. 

§ 7. Of the imperial provinces, Syria was the most important in 
the east, as Gaul in the west. The legatus of Syria, on 
whom it devolved to defend the frontier of the Euphrates against 
the Parthians, had four legions under him, the same number 
that was stationed on the Rhine. But it was not only for frontier 
service that the Syrian troops were needed ; they had also to 
protect the cities and the villages against marauding bands 
who infested the hills. Hence the legions were quartered in 
the cities, and not, like the Rhine army, in special military 
stations on the frontier ; and this circumstance was the source of 
the demoralisation and lack of discipline which marked the Syrian 
army. But notwithstanding the existence of the hill-robbers, 
Syria was a most prosperous province. In the way of Hellenisa- 
tion and colonisation the Seleucid kings had left nothing for the 
Romans to do. Augustus founded Berytus in order to provide for 
veteran soldiers, and it remained an isolated Italian town in the 
midst of the Greek Asiatics, — like Corinth in Greece, and Alexandria 
in the Troad. The Greek names of the towns in Syria recalled Mace- 
donia, as towns in Sicily and Magna Grascia recalled old Greece, or as 
names of places in the United States recall the mother-country. 
But the older Aramaic names lived on side by side with the new 
Greek names, and in some cases have outlived them, as, for instance, 
Heliopolis, which is called Baalbec at the present day. People, too, 
had double names as well as places. Thomas who was called 
Didymus, and Tabitha also called Dorcas, in the New Testament, 
are familiar examples. The Aramaic tongue continued to be 
spoken beside Greek, like Celtic beside Latin in Gaul, especially 
in the remoter districts. From the mixture of Greek and Syrian 
life, a new mixed type of civilisation arose, sometimes called 
Syrohellenic, and characteristically expressed in the great mauso- 

27 B.c-14 a.d. SYEIA. Ill 

leum erected on a hill near the Euphrates by Antiochus, king of 
Commagene. In his epitaph, that monarch prays, that upon his 
posterity may descend the blessings of the gods both of Persis and 
of Maketis (Persia and Macedonia). 

In the busy factories of the great Syrian cities — Laodicea, 
Apamea, Tyre, Berytus, Byblus — were carried on the manu- 
factures (linen, silk, &c.) for which the country was famous. 
But Antioch, the capital, was a town of pleasure rather than of 
work. It was not well situated for commerce, like Alexandria; 
but it was rich and magnificent. Splendidly supplied with water, 
brightly lit up at night, and full of superb buildings, it, with its 
suburb, the Gardens of Daphne, was probably the pleasantest town 
in the empire for the pleasure-seeker. 

Southern Syria, on its eastern side, bordered on the dependent 
kingdom of Nabat, which extended from Damascus, encircling 
Palestine on the east and south, and including the northern portion 
of the Arabian peninsula. The regions, however, of Trachonitis, 
between Damascus and Bostra, which had been committed to the 
charge of Zenodorus, prince of Abila, were subsequently transferred 
by Augustus to the king of Judea, because Zenodorus, instead of 
suppressing the robbers who infested Trachonitis, made common 
cause with them. Damascus itself, however, was subject to the 
Nabatean kings, whose capital was the great commercial city of 
Petra, the midway station through which the caravans of Indian 
merchandise passed on their road from Leuce Come in Arabia, to 
Gaza. These kings were Arabs, and Hellenism had only super- 
ficially touched their court. They had officers named Eparchoi 
and Strategoi. In the northern part of their realm, Damascus 
was Greek, and the close neighbourhood of Syria brought those 
border regions on the edge of the desert into connection with 
Greek civilisation, The kings of Petra were always at feud with 
their neighbours the kings of Judea. Obodas nearly lost his crown 
for taking up arms against Herod, instead of appealing to Augustus, 
their common lord. Civilisation did not really begin for this 
Nabatean kingdom, until, more than a century later, it was at 
length converted into a Eoman province. 

The kingdom of Judea, restored and bestowed upon An ti pater 
of Idumea by Julius Caesar, had been specially favoured by that 
statesman, being exempted from tribute and military levies. After 
the death of Anti pater the kingdom was won by his son Herod, 
after many struggles. At first the unwilling client of Antonius 
and the queen of Egypt, he performed some services in the final 
contest for Caesar, who not only confirmed him in his kingdom, but 
enlarged its borders. Samaria was added to Judea, and also the 


line of coast from Gaza as far as the Tower of Stratoo, which 
afterwards, under Herod's rule, was to become the city of Cassarea, 
the chief port of southern Syria. Herod, throughout his long 
reign, prosecuted the work of Hellenism, by no means acceptable to 
his Jewish subjects, with generous zeal. His policy was to keep 
religion and the government of the state quite apart, and do away 
altogether with the Jewish theocracy. There was thus a con- 
tinuous rivalry between the king and the high priest. The 
Hellenism of Herod was shown by his building a theatre at 
Jerusalem, and instituting a festival, to "be celebrated at the end 
of every fourth year, in imitation of the Greek games. At this 
festival, musical as well as gymnastic anl equestrian contests were 
held, and people of every nation were invited. He also imitated 
the Romans by building an amphitheatre in the plain beneath the 
city, and exhibiting there combats of wild beasts and condemned 
criminals. All this was a gross violation of Jewish traditions. 
Herod founded two new cities, both of which were named after 
the Emperor : Csesarea, already mentioned, intended to be the 
seaport of Jerusalem, and Sebaste, on the site of Samaria. These 
cities were of Hellenistic and not Jewish character. 

The reign of Herod was stained by horrible tragedies, which 
darkened his domestic life. Before his death, which occurred 
in 4 B.C., his kingdom had been increased by the land beyond the 
Jordan. The whole realm he divided among his three sons. 
Archelaus was to receive Judea, with Samaria and Idumea ; to 
Philip fell Batanea and the adjacent regions, with the title of 
tetrarch ; while Galilee and the land beyond the Jordan were assigned 
to Herod Antipas, also as tetrarch. But the kingdom was not 
destined to be of long duration. The Jews preferred to be the direct 
subjects of the Emperor, to being under the rule of a king of their 
own ; and a deputation from Jerusalem waited upon Augustus in 
Rome, to pray him to abolish the kingdom. The Emperor at first 
compromised. He did not remove Archelaus from the government 
of Ju< A ,ea, but he refused him: the royal title, and deprived him 
of Samaria. A few years later, however, in consequence of the 
incapacity of Archelaus, the wishes of the Jews were accomplished, 
and Judea was made a Roman province (6 a.d.) under an imperial 
procurator, over whom doubtless the legatus of Syria was em- 
powered to exercise a certain supervision, in certain cases, some- 
what as the governor of Pannonia might intervene in Noricum. 
Under the procurator, the city communities were allowed to 
manage their own affairs, as in Asia or Achaia. In Jerusalem, the 
synhedrion, an institution which had been founded under the 
Seleucids, corresponded to the town council, and the high priest, 

27 b.c-14 a.d. JUDEA. 113 

appointed by the procurator, to the chief magistrate. Everything 
possible was done, under the new system, to respect and deal 
tenderly with the customs and prejudices of the Jews. Out of 
consideration for their objection to images, the coins did not bear 
the Emperor's head ; and when Koman soldiers went to Jerusalem, 
they had to leave their standards behind them in Caesarea. The 
difference of treatment which the occidental Jews experienced is 
striking. The same Emperors who persecuted Jews in the west, 
scrupulously respected their customs in their own land. But the 
Jews were not content; they grumbled against the tribute, not 
because it was oppressive, but on the ground that it was irreligious. 
This state of things resulted in the great Jewish war of Vespasian, 
to which we shall come hereafter. 

Some other small vassal states were allowed to survive for a 
considerable time. The kingdom of Commagene in the north was 
not incorporated in the provincial system until 72 a.d. The prin- 
cipality of Chalcis, north-west of Damascus, survived still longer, 
(until 92 a.d.). Abila, (between Chalcis and Damascus) was 
annexed about 49 a.d. Iamblicus of Emesa had been executed 
by Antonius shortly before the battle of Actium ; and his territory 
was at first annexed by Augustus to the province of Syria, but in 
20 B.C. restored to a member of the native dynasty of Sampsi- 
geramus. It finally became provincial before 81 a.d. At what 
time the Syrian state of Palmyra, called in the Syrian tongue 
Tadmor, came to be a Koman dependency, we cannot say for 
certain, but probably in the reign of Augustus. This flourishing 
city, situated in an oasis of the desert, lay on the trade route 
from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean Sea, and was governed, 
under Koman supremacy, by its own municipal officers, until its 
destruction by the Emperor Aurelian in the third century. 

Sect. IV. — Egypt. 

§ 8. The death of Cleopatra, the last queen of the royal house of 
the Lagidae, was followed by the conversion of Egypt from the 
condition of a vassal kingdom into a directly subject land. But 
although it is often counted with the imperial provinces, it never 
stood in line with the other provinces.* It was subject to the 
Emperor in his own right, not merely' as representative of the 
populus Komanus. Augustus ruled over Egypt, not as proconsul, 
but as a successor of the Ptolemies, a king all but in name ; and 
the country always remained a sort of imperial preseive.f The 

* See above, Chap. I. § 3, and Chap. VI. I to describe the imperial administration 
$l(f). of Egypt. 

f Tacitus uses the phrase domi retinere \ 


Emperor was worshipped as a god by the Egyptian priests, accord- 
ing to the same forms which had been used in the cult of the royal 
Ptolemies. It was a logical consequence of this legal status of 
Egypt, as the Emperor's private domain, that it should stand apart 
from the imperial provinces in its administration. Thus senators 
were disqualified to fill the post of governor. Hence the govf rnor 
of Egypt did not hold the rank of a legatus, but only of a prsefectus. 
He was in command, however, of three legions, and this was the 
only case in which legions were commanded by men of the eques- 
trian order. But not only were senators excluded from the 
governorship, they were even forbidden to set foot in the land 
without permission of the lord of the land. This regulation (which 
extended also to equites illustres) was made by Augustus in self- 
protection. For if a prominent senator wished to excite a rebellion, 
Egypt, through its immense resources and its geographical position, 
would have been a most favourable field for such an enterprise. 
The military importance had been abundantly proved in the Civil 
Wars. Whoever controlled the Egyptian ports could stop the 
corn-supply on which Rome and Italy depended, and thus force 
them to capitulate without leaving Alexandria. And besides 
Egypt was a country difficult to attack and easy to defend; it 
had the advantage of an insular position without being an island. 
The jealousy with which the Emperors watched Egypt, is illus- 
trated by the fate of the first prefect, Cornelius Gallus, the poet. 
He allowed his name and deeds to be inscribed on the pyramids, 
and these indiscretions were interpreted as treasonable. Tried by 
the senate, he was removed from his command, and his disgrace 
drove him to commit suicide. Augustus is reported on this 
occasion to have complained that he was the only citizen who 
could not show anger against a friend without making him an 
enemy. Besides the prefect there was a iuridicus to administer 
justice, and an officer called idiologus to manage the finances. 

In organisation also Egypt differed from the other provinces. 
The system of the Ptolemies was continued. No municipal self- 
government was granted ; city life was not encouraged, as in the 
rest of the empire. The country was divided into districts (nomes) 
which were placed under officers appointed by the government. 
No diet was instituted to represent the political views of the people. 
Under the Ptolemies, the native Egyptians had formed an inferior 
class, possessing no political privileges, and under the Romans their 
condition remained the same. 

Upper Egypt extended to Elephantine on the Nile, and to 
Troglodytic Berenice on the coast (in the same line of latitude). 
This Berenice must be distinguished from Golden Berenice, far away 

27 B.C.— 14 A.D. 



to the south, opposite Aden, which, like Zula and Ptolemais 
Theron, were not included in the Roman empire. 

The fertility of the land of the Nile was proverbial, and it brought 
in an enormous revenue to the imperial purse. Augustus did not 
reduce the heavy taxes which had been levied by his Greek 
predecessors, but by judicious improvements, among which must be 
especially mentioned the re-opening and clearing of the Nile 
canals, he enabled the country to bear them, and Egypt soon 
recovered from the financial distress in which the rule of Cleopatra 
had plunged it. The chief product was grain, with which it 
supplied Rome. In the production of linen Egypt rivalled 
Syria ; in glass manufactures it stood first ; and it supplied the 
world with papyrus. Excellently situated for traffic, Alexandria 
might claim to be the second city in the Empire ; as a centre 
of commerce, she then stood at the head of all cities in the world. 
The traffic of the East and the West met in her streets and on 
her quays; Greek philosophies and oriental religions mingled 
in her schools. The buildings were magnificent, above all, the 
Temple of Serapis, the Museum, and the Royal Palace. There were 
attractions for the scholar, as well as for the merchant, and the 
sight-seer ; the Greek library was the richest, and the Greek 
professors of the Museums the most learned, in the Empire. Every- 
thing, a Greek writer says,* was to be had in Egypt, wealth, quiet, 
sights, philosophers, gold, a Museum, wine, all one may desire ! 
There was a very large Jewish population in Alexandria, composing 
a distinct community, with its own chief (entitled the ethnarch) ; 
and the city was too often the scene of riots and tumults, as was 
wont to be the case where there were large colonies of Jews. 

The capture of Alexandria by Caesar was commemorated by the 
building of a suburb called Nicopolis, which served as a sort of 
fortress to command the city, as a legion was stationed there. The 
temple of Antonius, incomplete when the city was taken, was 
finished and dedicated to Caesar. At a later period Augustus set up an 
obelisk in Alexandria, which survives to the present day, although 
no longer in its old station, f under the name of Cleopatra's needle. 

Egypt had been accustomed to reckon time by the regnal year of 
the Ptolemies, and the same system was continued under its new 
sovran. The era of the first Roman ruler was counted, not from 
the day of his victory, August 1 (30 B.C.), but from August 29, 
corresponding to the first day of the month Thoth, which the 

* In one of the lately discovered mimes 
of Herodas (i. 27, sqq). Though this 
writer probably lived in the 3rd century 
B.C., his description applies equally to 

Roman Alexandria. 

f It was removed to New York some 
years ago. 



Egyptians reckoned as the first day of the new year. Cleopatra 
lived during the greater part of August, and this circumstance may 
have determined the choice of the beginning of the new era. 



a. Governed by consular proconsuls. 

Asia e 

b. Governed by praetorian proconsuls. 






Bithynia and Pontus. 


Crete and Cyrene. 
a. Governed by legati Augusti pro- 

(I) Governed by consular legati. 






(2) Governed by praetorian legati. 





5. Governed by prefects or procu- 

Egypt (pref.). 

Sardinia and Corsica. 

Ra?tia (pref.) 


Alpes. Maritime (pref. 

A lpec Cottiae (pref. 

Judca (procur.) 

* The legati of these provinces were at 
the time of the death of Augustus under 
the control of Germanicus, the commander 
of the Germanic armies. 

Tropnies ol Augustus. 

Coins commemorating the recovery ot the standards from the Parthian' 



§ 1. Relations of. Rome and Parthia in the last years of the Repablic. 
Antonius in the East. The Armenian question. § 2. Policy of 
Augustus. Recovery of the standards of Crassus. Recovery of 
Armenia. Gaius Caesar in the East. His' death. § 3. Arabia Felix. 
Expedition of iElius Gallus, which proves a failure. § 4. Expedition 
against Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. 

§ 1. The Arsacid dynasty, which, after the fall of the Greek 
Seleucids, ruled over the Iranian lands from the Euphrates to the 
borders of India, derived their origin from Parthia, a land situated 
between Media and Bactria, south-east of the Caspian Sea. Their 
empire is called Parthia, in contrast to the earlier Persian empire of 
the Achsernenids, and the later Persian empire of the Sassanids. But 
it must not be forgotten that these kings were of Iranian race, speak- 
ing an Iranian language, maintaining the religion of Zoroaster, and 
that the whole character of their court was Persian. Thus it is quite 
true to say that the Komans in their Parthian wars not only 
maintained the same cause but fought agaiust the same foe as 
Themistocles when he repulsed Xerxes, and as Alexander when he 
overthrew Darius. The Parthian kingdom was composed of a 


118 ROME AND PAETHIA. Chap. viii. 

number of subordinate kingdoms or satrapies. The Greek cities in 
Mesopotamia formed an exception, to which we must add the 
flourishing mercantile city of Seleucia, which had taken the place 
of ancient Babylon. In this respect, the Parthian and Koman 
states have been sometimes contrasted. In the Parthian realm 
dependent kingdoms were the rule, city communities the exception ; 
in the Eoman Empire cities were the rule, dependent kingdoms 
the exception. 

Before the overthrow of their rival Mithradates, the Parthian 
kings regarded Rome as a friendly power. But after the victories 
of Pompeius, when the common enemy had fallen, Rome and 
Parthia stood face to face and became rivals themselves. Syria 
then became a Roman province, and the Euphrates was fixed 
by treaty as the boundary between the great European and the 
great Asiatic power. But there were many causes for discord. 
Armenia, like Cappadocia, became a Roman dependency ; and this 
circumstance could not fail to lead to war. That country, very 
important to both states from a military point of view, was 
destined to be tossed continually backwards and forwards between 
Parthia and Rome. In language, society, and nationality, Armenia 
was far nearer to the eastern than to the western power; and the 
political bonds which united it to Rome were always somewhat 
artificial. Another source of discord lay in Atropatene, the ]and 
south of Armenia ; for the vassal king of that country, desiring to 
free himself from Parthian supremacy, often sought to become ths 
vassal of Rome. The actual violation of the treaty came from the 
Romans, who assumed overlordship over the Mesopotamian city of 
Edessa, and attempted to extend the borders of the dependent king- 
dom of Armenia into Parthian territory. How Parthia declared 
war against Armenia, how this led to the fatal expedition of Crassus 
and the field of Carrhae, how in consequence of that defeat, Armenia 
fell into the power of the Parthians, need not be repeated here. 

Elated by their success, the Parthians began to demand the cession 
of Syria ; while on the side of Rome it was regarded as a matter of 
honour to revenge the defeat at Carrhse and recover the standards of 
Crassus. The Civil Wars prevented the accomplishment of such 
designs. One great defeat, indeed, the enemy experienced when they 
invaded Syria in 38 B.C., at the hands of Yentidius Bassus ; Pacorus, 
the son of the great king, fell on the field of Gindaros. Marcus 
Antonius at length seriously faced the Parthian question, in con- 
nection with his own ambitious design of founding a great Eastern 
empire, composed of dependent kingdoms. It will be remembered 
how his expedition came to nought. At that time, the king of Parthia 
was Phraates, who was highly unpopular with his subjects, and 

38-31 B.C. 



Antonius supported the pretender Monaeses. The king of Armenia 
was Artavasdes, and he, wishing to increase his dominion by the 
addition of Atropatene, ardently supported Antonius. Another 
Artavasdes was king of Atropatene. Antonius blamed the Armenian 
king for his failure, repaired to Armenia in 34 B.C., seized him and 
carried him to Egypt, where he was put to death by Cleopatra. 
His son Artaxes fled to the Parthians. At the same time 
Antonius became reconciled with Artavasdes of Atropatene, 
obtained his daughter in marriage for a son of his own, whom he 
set up as king of Armenia. But at this moment Antonius was 
called upon to deal with Csesar ; and Pbraates, seizing the oppor- 
tunity, deposed the two kings, and combined both Armenia and 
Atropatene under the rule of Artaxes, son of the Armenian 
Artavasdes. Fortunately for Roman interests, intestine struggles 
broke out in Persia,* simultaneously with the final contest between 
the two Roman triumvirs. Phraates was deposed, and Tiridates 
was set up in his stead. 

§ 2. Augustus has been blamed for not dealing resolutely with 
the Eastern question immediately after his victory over his rival. 
It has been said that he should have at once taken steps to plant 
his power in Armenia, and make that country securely and 
permanently Roman, at the same time establishing a recognised 
authority over the Colchians, the Iberians, and the Albanians, who 
inhabited the regions between Armenia and the Caucasus, the 
Euxine and the Caspian. It seemed incumbent on him, too, to 
recover the standards captured at Carrhas ; and at the same time 
two exiles were imploring his help, Tiridates, who had been over- 
thrown soon after his elevation,! and Artavasdes, king of Atro- 
patene. The desire which the Romans felt at this time to see the 
Parthians humbled is reflected in the earlier writings of Horace. 
Augustus is called juvenis Parthis horrendus,% and "will be 
regarded as a true god upon earth if he adds the Britons and the 
dangerous Persians to the empire."§ Men clearly looked forward 
to a Parthian war. But Augustus, after the conquest of Egypt, 
postponed the settlement of the Eastern question. Perhaps he was 
influenced by the ill-success of Antonius ; and his army, doubtless, 
eager for rewards and rest, would have been little disposed to 
undertake an arduous campaign in Armenia. And above all 
Augustus himself was not a general. Observing the domestic 

* Horace, Odes, iii. 8. 19: Medus in- 
festus sibi luctuosis dissidet armis. 

f Horace, Ode?, ii. 2. 17 : Redditum 
Cyri solio Phraaten. 

% Satires, ii. 5. 62. 

$ Odes, iii. 5. 4 : 

Prsesens divus habebitur 
Augustus adiectis Britannia 
Imperio gravibusque Persis. 



Chap. viii. 

discords in Parthia, he hoped to settle the eastern frontier 
advantageously for Rome by diplomacy, and not by arms. He 
consoled Artavasdes with the kingdom of Lesser Armenia and gave 
refuge in Syria to Tiridates. In 23 B.C. an opportunity came for 
recovering the standards and captives which had been taken at 
Carrhse. Phraates sent an embassy demanding that Tiridates 
should be given up to him, and also an infant son of his own whom 
Tiridates had carried off. The child was sent back, but it was 
stipulated that in return the captives and the standards should be 
restored. It was in connection with this affair that Agrippa was 
sent to the East with proconsular imperium. Phraates did not 
fulfil the conditions immediately, but in 20 B.C. Augustus appeared 
in the East himself, and the Parthian king yielded. The Emperor 
was proud of his success, which in his account of his own deeds 
he records thus : " I compelled the Parthians to restore to me the 
standards and spoils of three Roman armies, and suppliant ly to beg 
the friendship of the Roman people. Those standards I deposited 
in the temple of Mars Ultor." Poets celebrated the event as if 
it ranked with the most brilliant achievements of Roman arms. 
Virgil sings of " following Aurora, and claiming the standards 
from the Parthians," and imagines the Euphrates as flowing with 
less haughty stream * ; and the ensigns so peacefully recovered 
are described by Horace as " torn from " the enemy, f 

In the same year a more solid success was obtained, the recovery 
of Armenia. A conspiracy had been formed there against the king 
Artaxes, and a message was sent to the Emperor, requesting that 
Tigranes (the younger brother of Artaxes), who was educated at 
Rome, should be sent to reign in his stead. Tiberius, the Emperor's 
stepson, was entrusted with the task of deposing Artaxes and 
installing Tigranes. Artaxes was murdered by the party which 
had conspired against him; and Tigranes was established in the 
kingdom, which thus became once more a dependency of Rome. 
Atropatene, however, was separated, and given to Ariobarzanes, 
son of its former king Artavasdes, but it seems to have remained 
under Parthian supremacy. Ariobarzanes, like Tigranes, had been 
educated at Rome. 

New troubles, however, soon arose in Armenia. Tigranes died, 
and the kingdom was agitated by struggles between the friends of 
Parthia and the friends of Rome. Augustus again entrusted to his 
stepson the office of restoring order in Armenia ; but Tiberius, from 
motives of private resentment, declined the commission (6 B.C.). 

* JEneid, vii. 606 : Auroramque sequi 
Parthosque reposcere signa. viii. 726 : 
Euphrates ibat iam mollior undis. 

f Odes, iv. 15. 1 : Derepta Parthorum 
superbis postibus. 

23 B.c-4 a.d. ARABIAN EXPEDITION. 121 

Nothing was done during the next four years : but then it was 
decided that the ordering of the East should be entrusted to the 
young grandson of the Emperor, Gaius Caesar, and should form a 
brilliant beginning to the career of the destined Imperator. The 
young prince started with high hopes, dreaming perhaps of oriental 
conquests and of rivalling the fame of Alexander. His enthusiasm 
seems to have been encouraged by, perhaps to have affected, his elders. 
A courtly poet cried, " Now, far East, thou shalt be ours " * ; and 
Juba, the literary king of Mauretania, wrote an account of Arabia, 
for the special benefit of Gaius, whose vision was chiefly fixed on 
the conquest of that unconquerable land. The settlement of the 
Armenian question was, in the first instance, easily and peacefully 
accomplished. Gaius and Phraataces, the son of Phraates, met on 
an island in the middle of the Euphrates, and the Parthian agreed 
to resign his .claim to Armenia. But it was still necessary to 
enforce submission to this decision in Armenia itself; and accordingly 
Gaius proceeded thither to instal Ariobarzanes, son of Artavasdes. 
Before the walls of the fortress of Artagira he was wounded by 
treachery, and some months later he died of the effects of the hurt 
at Limyra in Lycia (4 a.d.). During the rest of the reign of 
Augustus, no serious measures were adopted in regard to Armenia, 
and that state was rent by the contentions between the Parthian 
and the Roman parties. 

§ 3. The unfortunate death of the young Cassar put an end to 
the design of conquering Arabia. That enterprise had been 
seriously entertained by the Roman government, and actually 
attempted at an earlier date. The possession of southern Arabia 
would have been an important advantage, not like that of Armenia or 
Mcesia for military purposes, but from a purely mercantile point of 
view. The chief route of trade from India to Europe was by the Red 
Sea — Adane (Aden) was then, as now, an important port — and the 
Arabians, with their born genius for commerce, had it in their 
hands. The Indian wares were disembarked either at Leuce Come, 
on the west coast of Arabia, and thence transported overland to 
Petra and on to some Syrian port, or at Myos Hormos, on the 
opposite Egyptian coast, whence they were carried by camels to 
Coptos (near Thebes) and shipped for Alexandria. Once in posses- 
sion of Egypt, the Roman government could not fail to see that it 
would be highly profitable to command the Red Sea route entirely, 
and get the trade into the hands of their own subjects. Not long 
after N the establishment of his power, Augustus took up the 
question, and here for once, he was aggressive. He planned an 
expedition, of which the object was to reduce under Roman sway 

* Nunc, oriens ultime, noster eris : Ovid, Ars Am., i. 178. 



Chap. viii. 

the land of Yemen, the south-western portion of the Arabian 
peninsula. That land was known to the Romans as Arabia Felix, 
and its people — the Himyarites — as the Sabasi. It was a rich 
country, which in itself invited conquest, though, in consequence 
of the remote situation, the luxurious inhabitants had never been 
subdued, as Horace tells us, by a foreign master.* They supplied 
the Empire with spices and perfumes, cassia, aloes, myrrh, frauk in- 
cense, while in return they received the precious metals, which 
they kept in their land. The expedition started towards the end 
of 25 b.c, and was entrusted to the care of iElius Gallus, an officer 
holding a high post in Egypt.f Ten thousand men, half the 
Dumber of troops in Egypt, were placed under his command, in 
addition to auxiliaries supplied by the kings of Nabatea and Judea. 
The Nabateans had constant intercourse with Arabia Felix, and 
Syllasus, a minister of the Nabatean king Obodas, undertook to 
play the part of guide. The whole expedition was miserably 
mismanaged ; it is hard to say how far Gallus was to blame and 
how far his guide may have acted in bad faith. His friend the 
geographer Strabo, from whom we learn the details of the enter- 
prise, shifts the blame on Syllseus; and it is quite conceivable, that 
the Nabateans may have secretly wished the expedition to fail, 
thinking that its success might divert the traffic that had hitherto 
passed through their country. 

The army embarked at Arsinoe (on the Isthmus of Suez) in a 
fleet of war- vessels. Such vessels were quite needless, as there was 
no question of hostilities by sea. They disembarked at Lence 
Come, which was perhaps at this time subject to Rome, and passed 
the winter there. In spring they marched southwards by circuitous 
and laborious routes, and at length reached the capital of the 
Sabseans. But the army, though the natives gave little trouble, 
had suffered severely from disease and hunger, and when at last 
they came to the residence of the Sabasan kings, Mariba, on its 
woody hill, both the general and the men were too exhausted and 
despondent to set to the task of besieging it. Having spent six days 
there, Gallus abandoned the undertaking, and the expedition returned 
home, but with more speed than it had gone thither. Something 
had been accomplished in the way of exploring the country, but the 
Sabsei were still, as before, unconquered. Augustus, however, did not 
choose to consider the expedition a failure. He speaks of it 
eomplacently among his achievements, and he promoted iElius 
Gallus to the prefecture of Egypt. 

* Odes, i. 29. 3: Non ante devictis 
Sabsese regibus. 
f Mommsen thinks he was prefect 

already; but the evidence seems rather 
to favour the view that he was made pre- 
fect after his expedition. 


§ 4. While half of the Egyptian army was absent on the Arabian 
enterprise, the other half was called upon to defend the southern 
frontier against the aggressions of a neighbouring power. Upper 
Egypt extended as far as Elephantine on the Nile, and beyond that 
limit lay the land of the Ethiopians, at this time ruled by the one- 
eyed queen Candace. She had invaded and plundered the extreme 
parts of Upper Egypt — Syene and Elephantine; and after fruitless 
demands 'or satisfaction, C. Petronius the prefect was obliged to 
take the field (24 B.C.), at the head of 10,000 footmen and 800 horse. 
He routed the enemy, took the town of Pselchis on the Nile, and 
advanced as far as Napata, where was the queen's palace, in the 
neighbourhood of the Ethiopian capital Meroe. He razed Napata 
to the ground. He did not attempt to occupy all this country, but 
made a strong place, named Premnis (or Premis), his advanced post. 
In the following year Premnis was attacked by the Ethiopians, and 
Petronius had to return again to relieve it. He inflicted another 
defeat on the foe (22 b.c), and Candace was compelled to sue 
for peace. Her ambassadors were sent to Augustus, who was 
then at Samos, and peace was granted, the prefect being directed 
to evacuate the territory which he had occupied. Augustus drew 
the line of frontier at Syene. 

Augustus and Artavasdes. 

The (so-called) Arch of Drusus, on the Appian Way. 



§ 1. Project of the conquest of Germany. § 2. Political and social life 
of the Germans, as known from Caesar's Commentaries. § 3. Dis- 
turbances in Gaul and on the Rhine. § 4. Appointment of Drusus. 
His first campaigns (12 B.C.). § 5. Campaigns against the Cherusci 
(11 BC.) and the Chatti (10 B.C.). Defence of the Rhine. § 6. 
Drusus advances to the Albis (9 B.C.). His death. § 7. Tiberius in 
Germany (9-6 B.C., and 4-5 A.D.). § 8. Expedition against Maro- 
boduus. § 9. Rebellion of Pannonia and Dalmatia, suppressed by 
Tiberius. § 10. Revolt of Germany. Defeat of Varus. § 11. 
Tiberius returns to the Rhine. § 12. Effect of the various dis- 
asters on Augustus. His last days and death (14 A.D.). § 13. Estimate 
of Augustus. § 14. Monumentum Ancyranum and Breviarium Imperii. 

Sect. T. — The Conquest of Germany. 

§ 1. The subject of the present chapter is the story of the 
Koman Germany that might have been. Csesar's conquest of 
Gaul pointed beyond the limits of that country to further 
conquests ; it pointed beyond the sea, to the island of the north, 
and eastward beyond the Ehine, to the forests of central Europe. 

55 B.c-14 a.d. CESAR'S ACCOUNT OF GERMANY. 125 

Caesar had shown the way to the conquest of Britain, he had 
likewise crossed the Rhine. As far as Britain was concerned, 
Augustus did not follow out the suggestions of his "father"; 
that enterprise was reserved for one of his successors. But in 
regard to Germany he was persuaded to act otherwise. The advance 
of the Roman frontier from the Rhine to the Albis (Kibe), and the 
subjugation of the intervening peoples, must have seemed from a 
military point of view good policy. The line of frontier to be 
defended would thus be lessened. The defence of the Upper 
Danube, from Yindonissa on the Rhine to Lauriacum would not be 
needed, and the Albis would take the place of the Rhine. This 
project of extending the Empire to the Albis, into which perhaps 
the cautious Emperor w .-s persuaded by the ardour of his favourite 
stepson Drusus, was well begun and seemingly certain of success, 
when it was cut short by an untoward accident, if there was not 
some deeper cause in the hidden counsels of the Roman govern- 
ment. But the winning and losing of Germany is a most interest- 
ing episode, giving us our earliest glimpse of the rivers and forests 
of central Europe. 

§ 2. Cassar in his Commentaries has given a brief sketch of the 
political and social life of the Germans in general, and of the 
Suevians in particular. This sketch, though somewhat vague and 
doubtless derived chiefly from the information of Gauls, is valuable 
as the earliest picture of the life of our forefathers, and one written 
by a great statesman. He describes them as a hardy, laborious and 
temperate people, dividing their life between hunting and warlike 
exercises. They practise agriculture but little, and subsist chiefly 
on flesh, milk, and cheese. No one possesses a permanent lot of 
land; but the chiefs assign a certain portion of land every year, 
and for only one year's occupancy, to the several communities which 
form a civitas. At the end of each year the allotments are given 
up, and each community moves elsewhere. For this custom 
several reasons were given, of which the most important were that 
the people might not by permanent settlement become agricultural 
and give up warfare; that the more powerful might not drive the 
weaker from their possessions ; and that the mass of the people might 
be contented. The territory of each tribe is isolated from those of its 
neighbours by a surrounding strip of devastated unpeopled land. 
This is a safeguard against sudden attack. In time of war special 
commanders arc chosen ; but in time of peace, there is no central or 
supreme magistracy in the state, but the chiefs of the various 
districts (pagi) or tribal subdivisions, administer justice. The 
Sucvi had a hundred pagi, of which each furnished a thousand men 
to the military host ; the rest stayed at home and provided food 



for the warriors. The next year the warriors returned home and 
tilled the land, while those who had stayed at home the 'previous 
year took their places. 

From this sketch it may be inferred that the tribes known by 
Csesar " were in a state of transition from the nomadic life to that 
of settled cultivation." Some tribes must have been in a more 
advanced stage of development than others ; and this development 
must have been proceeding during the age of Augustus. But we 
have no means of tracing it. 

§ 3. The first disturbance in Gaul after the battle of Actium was 
the revolt of the Celtic Morini, in the neighbourhood of Gesoriacum 
(Boulogne) ; and their rebellion, perhaps, was in some way con- 
nected with the invasion of the German Suevians from beyond the 
Rhine, in the same year (29 B.C.). Ti e Suevians were driven back, and 
the Morini subdued by Gains Carrinas ; while Nonius Gallus, about 
the same time, suppressed a rising of the Treveri, on the Mosella. 
The following years were marked by those measures of organisation 
iu Gaul, which have been mentioned already (Chap. VI.). There 
seems to have been a good deal of oppression in the taxation, and 
dissatisfaction among the provincials. In 25 B.C. German invaders 
came from beyond the Rhine, and were repulsed by M. Vinicius ; 
but we know not whether they came by the invitation of Roman 
subjects. More alarming was the invasion which took place nine 
years later. Sugambri, Usipetes, and Tencteri, tribes whose homes 
were on the right bank of the lower Rhine, crossed the river on an 
expedition of plunder, and inflicted a defeat on the legatus, M. 
Lollius, carrying off the eagle of the Yth legion. This event was 
not a very serious loss, but it was a serious disgrace.* Augustus 
hastened to Gaul himself, taking Tiberius with him ; the question 
of the defence of the northern frontiers was becoming serious. 
Tiberius was appointed to the military command in Gaul, and 
offensive operations were begun by the annexation of Noricum and 
the conquest of Rsetia and Vindelicia.f 

§ 4. In 12 B.C. Drusus succeeded his brother as commander of 
the Rhine army. He was a brilliant young man, hardly twenty- 
five years old, handsome, brave, and popular ; of winning manners 
worshipped by the soldiers ; ardent and bold, but a sagacious leader. 
He lost no time in setting about the accomplishment of his 
scheme of conquest beyond the Rhine ; and the occasion was given 

* Horace alludes to this in his praise 
of Lollius (Odes, iv. 9. 36) to whom he 
attributes a mind " temporibus dubiisque 

\ See above, Chap. VI. $ 10. Horace 

(Odes, iv. 2. 34) prophesies (13 B.C.) a 
victery over the Sugambri : — 

Quandoque trahet feroces 
Per sacrum clivum merita decorus 

Fronde Sugambros. 


to him by the hostilities of the Sugambri and their confederates. 
Having inaugurated the altar of Augustus at Lugudunum, and thus 
called forth a display of loyal sentiment in Gaul, he proceeded to 
the lower Rhine, threw a bridge across the river, and entered the 
land of the Usipetes, who had already begun hostilities. This 
tribe dwelled on the northern bank of the Luppia, a tributary 
of the Rhine, which still bears the same name in the form Lippe. 
The lands south of the Luppia belonged to the Sugambri, and 
southward still as far as the Laugonna (now shortened into Lahn) 
dwelt the Tencteri. Having quelled the Usipetes, the Roman 
general inarched southward to chastise the Sugambri, who, under 
their chieftain Melo, had begun the hostilities. 

But at present his way did not lie further in that direction. His 
plan was to subdue the northern regions of Germany first ; and he had 
decided that this must be done in connection with the navigation of 
the northern coast. There were three stages from the Rhine to the 
Albis. The conqueror must first advance to the Amisia, and then 
to the Yisurgis, before he reached the Albis, his final limit. The' 
names of these rivers, thus Latinized by Roman lips, are still the 
same : the Ems, the Weser, and the Elbe. A canal connecting the 
Rhine with Lake Fievo (as the sheet of water corresponding to the 
Zuyder Zee was then called) was constructed by the army under 
Drusus, from whom it was named the Fossa Drusiana; so that the 
Rhine fleet could sail straight through the Lake into the German 
Ocean and coast along to the mouth of the Amisia. The Batavians 
acknowledged without resistance the lordship of Rome, and helped 
the troops in cutting the canal ; and the Frisians, who dwelled north- 
east of Lake Flevo, likewise submitted to Drusus without resistance. 
Having thus secured the coast from the Rhine to the Amisia, he 
occupied the island of Burchanis (which we may certainly identify 
with Borkum) at the mouth of that river, and sailing up the stream, 
defeated the Bructeri in a naval encounter. Returning to the sea, 
he invaded the land of the Chauci, who inhabited the coast regions 
on either side of the mouth of the Visurgis ; but it does not appear 
whether the Roman fleet sailed as far as the Yisurgis, or whether 
Drusus advanced into the territory of the Chauci from the Amisia. 
In the return voyage the ships ran some danger in the treacherous 
shallows, but were extricated by the friendly Frisians who had 
accompanied the expedition on foot. 

§ 5. Thus the work of Drusus in the first year of his command 
was the reduction of the coast of Lower Germany as far as the 
Yisurgis. In the next year (11 b.c.) he determined to follow this 
up by the reduction of the inland regions in the same direction. 
For this purpose he had to choose another way. The chief military 


station on the Lower Rhine was at this time Castra Vetera,* situated 
not far from the mouth of the Luppia. Starting from h^re in spring, 
the legions crossed the Rhine, subdued once more the unruly 
Usipetes, threw a bridge across the Luppia and entered the land of 
the Sugambri. In order to advance eastward it was necessary to 
secure the tranquillity of these troublesome tribes in the rear. 
Then following the course of the Luppia, Drusus advanced into the 
land of the Cherusci (the modern Westphalia), as far as the banks 
of the Visurgis. It was thought that the Sugambri might have 
thrown obstacles in the way of this achievement, but they were 
fully occupied by a war with their southern neighbours, the Chatti, 
who dwelled about the Taunus Mountains. Want of supplies and 
the approach of winter prevented the Romans from crossing the 
Visurgis. In returning, they fell into a snare, which, but for the 
skill of the general and the discipline of the soldiers, would have 
proved fatal. At a place named Arbalo, which cannot be identified, 
. they were surrounded in a narrow pass by an ambushed enemy. 
But the Germans, confident in their own position, and regarding the 
Romans as lost men, took no precautions in attacking ; and the 
legions cut their way through, and reached the Luppia in safety. 
On the I anks of that river, at the point where it receives the waters 
of the Aliso, Drusus erected a fort, as an advanced position in the 
country, which was yet to be thoroughly subdued. This fort, also 
named Aliso, perhaps corresponds to the modern Elsen, the river 
being the Alme. About the same time another fort was established 
on Mount Taunus, in the territory of the Chatti, whom the Romans 
drove out of their own land into that of the Sugambri. The 
following year (10 B.C.) seems to have been occupied with the 
subjugation of the Chatti, who were fighting to recover their old 
homes between the Laugonna and the Mcenus (Main). During 
this year Drusus possessed the proconsular power — that is the 
secondary imperium, as it is called, subordinate to that of the 
Emperor — which had been conferred upon him by designation in 
the previous year. Soon afterwards, perhaps in the following 
year, along with his brother Tiberius he received the title of 

While Drusus was thus actively accomplishing his great design 
of a Roman Germany, he was not neglectful of the defence of 
the Rhine, which was secured by a line of fifty forts on the left 
bank, between the sea and Vindonissa. The chief station of the 
Lower Rhine was Castra Vetera ; of the Upper, Moguntiacum 
(Mainz), probably founded by Drusus. Among the most important 
stations, which were established either at this time or not much 
* Birten, near Xanten. 

9 b.c. DEATH OF DRUSUS. 129 

later, were Argentoratum,* the southern Noviomagus, . which 
corresponds to Speyer, Borbetomagus, Bingium, Bonna; the 
northern Noviomagus, which is still Nimeguen, and the northern 
Lugudunum on the Rhine, which has become Leyden, in contrast 
wiih its southern namesake on the Rhone, which has been trans- 
formed into the softer Lyons. 

§ 6. In the following year the victorious young general, who 
mi^ht now lay claim to the title of " subduer of Germany," entered 
upon his first consulship. Bad omens at Rome in the beginning of 
the year did not hinder the consul from setting forth in spring, to 
carry on his work beyond the Rhine. This time he was bent on a 
further progress than he had yet achieved. Hitherto he had not 
advanced beyond the Visurgis ; it seemed now high time to press 
forward to the Albis itself. Starting probably from Moguntiacum 
he passed through the subject land of the Chatti and entered the 
borders of the Suevi. Then taking a northerly direction, he reached 
the Cherusci and the banks of the Visurgis, and crossing that river 
marched to the Albis, hitting it perhaps somewhere in the neigh- 
bourhood of the modern Magdeburg. Of his adventures on this 
march nothing is definitely recorded, except that the Romans wasted 
the land and that there were some bloody conflicts. On the bank 
of the Albis he erected a trophy, marking the limit of Roman 
progress. A strange and striking story was told of something said 
to have befallen him there, and to have moved him to retreat. A 
woman of greater than human stature stood in his way and motioned 
him back. " Whither so fast, insatiable Drusus ? It is not given 
to thee to see all these things. Back ! for the end of thy works and 
thy life is at hand." 

And so it fell out. The days of Drusus were numbered. Some- 
where between the Sala, a tributary of the Albis, and the Visurgis, 
he fell from his horse and broke his leg. The injury resulted in 
death after thirty days' suffering; there seems to have been no 
competent surgeon in the army. The alarming news of the 
accident was soon carried to Augustus, who was then somewhere in 
Gaul. Tiberius, who was at Ticinum, was sent for with all haste, 
and with all haste he journeyed to the recesses of the German forest, 
and reached the camp in time to be with his brother in the last 
moments. The grief at this misfortune was universal ; both the 
Emperor and the soldiers had lost their favourite, and the state an 
excellent general. Drusus was not yet thirty years old; he had 
accomplished a great deal, and he looked forward to accomplishing 
far more. Perhaps nothing will enable us so well to realise his 
importance in history, as the reflection that, if he had lived to fulfil 
* Strassburg. Borbetomagus is Worms ; Bingium, Bingen ; and Bonna, Bonn. 


his plan, his work could not have been easily undone, the events 
which are presently to be related could not have happened, and the 
history of central Europe would have been changed. 

The corpse was carried to the winter-quarters on the "Rhine and 
thence to Rome, where it was burned ; the ashes were bestowed in 
the mausoleum of Augustus. Two funeral speeches were pronounced, 
one in the Forum by Tiberius, the other by Augustus himself in the 
Flaminian Circus. Besides these solemnities, more lasting honours 
were decreed to the dead hero. The name Germanicus was given to 
the conqueror of Germany, and to his children after him. A 
cenotaph was built at Moguntiacum, and a triumphal arch erected 
to record the founder of the new province. It would seem that 
Moguntiacum was in some special way associated with Drusus. 
These monuments in stone have not come down to us, but there has 
survived a monument in verse, an elegy addressed to his mother, the 
Empress Li via. We could wish that the author of the Consolatio 
ad Liviam had given a more distinct piciure of the qualities of the 
young general whom he deplores. 

Sect. II. — Tiberius in Germany. The Pannonian Revolt. 

§ 7. It now devolved upon Tiberius, who possessed the pro- 
consular power and the title of imperator, to carry on his brother's 
work. He took the place of Drus is as governor of the Three Gauls 
and commander of the armies on the Rhine, and maintained the 
Roman supremacy over the half-subdued German tribes between 
that rjver and the Albis. The pacification of the Sugambri was at 
length effected by strong measures, and they were assigned 
territory on the left bank of the Rhine. Each summer the Roman 
legions appeared in various parts of the new province ; the Roman 
general dealt out justice, and Roman advocates appeared beyond the 
Ehine. There was still much to be done to place Germany on the 
level of other provinces ; it would have been perhaps unsafe as yet 
to require the Germans to contribute auxilia, or to impose on them 
a regular tribute. Tiberius possessed the confidence of the army, 
but he did not, like Drusus, possess the affection of the Emperor. 
In 7 b.c, the year of his second consulship, he received 
triumphal honours ; but he did not return to Germany, and in the 
following year he retired to Rhodes. Little is recorded of his 
successors, but it is not to be assumed that they were idle or 
incompetent. The courtly writers of the day had eyes only for 
the exploits of Drusus and Tiberius, the princes of the imperial 
house. The consolidation of the conquests of Drusus was doubtless 
carried on amid frequent local rebellions, such as that in 1 B.C., 

4-6 a.d. TIBERIUS IN GERMANY. 131 

which was put down by M. Vinicius. Another legatus, L. 
Domitius Ahenobarbus, built a road, called the pontes longi, 
connecting the Amisia with the Rhine. These commanders, how- 
ever, were not entrusted, like Drusus and Tiberius, with the 
government of the Three Gauls. . 

After the deaths of Gaius and Lucius Csesar, Tiberius was 
reconciled with his stepfather, and undertook the command of the 
armies on the Rhine once more. The legions were delighted to be 
commanded by a general whom they knew and trusted, whose 
ability was proved, and who was now marked out as the successor 
to the Empire. And there was need of a strong hand, for there had 
been many tokens of an unruly spirit. In his first campaign (4 a.d.) 
Tiberius advanced beyond the Visurgis, and reduced the Cherusci 
who had thrown off the Roman yoke ; and for the first time the 
Roman army passed the winter beyond the Rhine in the fort of 
Aliso on the Luppia. In the following year (5 a.d.) the Lower Albis 
was reached, and an insurrection of the Chauci was suppressed. 
The Langobardi, who dwelled in these parts, and of whom we hear 
now for the first time. — a people destined in a later age to rule in 
Italy and become famous under the name of " Lombards " — were 
also reduced. This expedition was carried out by the joint 
operations of a fleet and a land army. Tiberius repeated on a 
larger scale what Drusus had done eighteen years before. But 
while on the earlier occasion the Roman fleet had not advanced 
beyond the mouth of the Yisurgis (if so far), under the auspices of 
Tiberius it reached the Albis and even sailed to the northern 
promontory of the Cimbric peninsula. Some peoples east of the 
Albis, such as the Semnones, the Charydes, and the Cimbri (in 
Denmark), sent envoys seeking the friendship of the Emperor and 
the Roman people. 

§ 8. The authority of Tiberius had thus pacified the trans- 
Rhenane dominion of Rome, and in the following year (6 a.d.) a new 
enterprise of conquest was entrusted to his conduct. When Drusus 
in his last expedition marched up the Mcenus, he entered the land 
of the Marcomanni, and they, under the leadership of their chief 
Maroboduus, retreated before him into that lozenge-shapec, 
mountain-girt country in central Europe, which has derived its name 
Boiohasmum, Bohemia, from the Celtic Boii who then inhabited it. 
The Marcomanni dispossessed the Celts, and Maroboduus established 
a powerful and united state, which extended its sway eastward, and 
northward over the neighbouring German tribes. The ideas of this 
remarkable man were far in advance of his countrymen. He had a 
leaning to Roman civilisation, and he was ready to learn from it the 
methods and uses of political organisation. He formed and 


disciplined in Roman fashion an army of 70,000 foot and 4000 horse. 
But his policy was essentially one of peace. He desired to avoid a 
war with Rome, and yet to make it plain that he was quite strong 
enough to hold his own. He was willing to be a friendly ally, but 
he was not disposed to be a vassal. Geography, however, rendered 
a collision unavoidable. For Rome, possessing Germany in the 
north, and Noricum and Pannonia in the south, it w T ould have been 
impossible to allow the permanent presence of an independent 
German state wedged in between these provinces. The actual 
occupation of the territory between the Dravus and the Danube, if 
it had not already taken place, was merely a question of time, and 
it was obviously necessary to have a continuous line of frontier from 
the Albis to the Danube. Policy demanded that the Empire should 
absorb the realm of Maroboduus, and advance to the river Marus 
(now the March, which flows into the Danube below Pressburg). 

The legions of the Rhine under an experienced commander, 
Cn. Sentius Saturninus, advanced from the valley of the Mcenus, 
breaking their way through the unknown depths of the Hercynian 
Forest, to meet the legions of Illyricum, which Tiberius led across 
the Danube at Carnuntum. Both armies together numbered twelve 
legions, nearly double of the troops mustered by Maroboduus ; and 
under the command of a cautious and experienced leader like 
Tiberius the success of the enterprise seemed assured. But it was 
not to be. Before the armies met, sudden tidings of a most 
alarming kind imperatively recalled the general. A revolt, caused 
by oppressive taxation, had broken out in Dalmatia and Pannonia, 
and of so serious a nature that not only were the Illyric legions 
obliged to return, but the troops of Mcesia and even forces from 
beyond the sea (probably from Syria) were required to assist in 
suppressing it. This would have been an excellent opportunity 
for Maroboduus to take the offensive, but he clung to his policy 
of neutrality, and accepted terms of peace which were proposed 
by Tiberius. The army of Sentius Saturninus hastened back to 
the Rhine to prevent a simultaneous outbreak there. 

§ 9. The Pannonian revolt lasted for three years, the Dalmatian 
for one year longer. In Dalmatia the leader of the insurgents was 
one Bato. He made an attempt to capture Salonas, but was obliged 
to retire severely wounded, and had to content himself with 
ravaging the coast of Macedonia as far south as Apollonia. The 
legatus of Illyricum, M. Valerius Messalinus, son of the orator 
Messalla, contended against him with varying success. In Pan- 
nonia, another Bato, chief of the Breuci, was the most prominent 
leader. As the Dalmatian Bato failed to take Salonas, so the 
Pannonian Bato failed to take Sirmium, and was defeated before its 

6-8 A.D. 



walls by Aulus Csecina Severus, the legatus of Moesia, who had 
hurried to the scene of action. After this the two Batos seem to 
have joined forces and taken up a strong position on Mount Almas, 
close to Sirmium. Tiberius passed the winter in Siscia, and made 
that pla3e tHe basis of his operations in Pannonia. As many as 
fifteen legions were ultimately collected in the rebellious provinces 
under his command, and the loyal princes of Thrace had also come 
to the rescue. An unusually large number of auxiliary troops, fully 
90,000, were employed in this war. Terror was felt not only in 
Macedonia, but even in Italy and Rome. Augustus himself had 
hastened to Ariminum, to be near the seat of war ; levies were 
raised in Italy and placed under Germanicus, son of Drusus, a 
youth of twenty-one years. In 7 a.d. the course of the hostilities 
was desultory ; the rebels avoided engagements in the open field. 
Germanicus advanced from Siscia along the river Unna into 
western Dalmatia, and conquered the tribe of the Maszsei, who 
dwelled in the extreme west of modern Bosnia. Subsequently 
(7-8 a.d.) he captured three important strongholds,* which seem 
to have been situated on the borders of Liburnia and Iapydia. The 
next serious event was the long siege of Arduba,f in south-eastern 
Dalmatia, which was marked by the heroic obstinacy of the women, 
who, when the place was captured, threw themselves and their 
children into the fire. But in the following autumn the Pannonian 
Bato was induced to betray his cause. He surrendered in a battle 
fought at the stream of Bathinus J (August 3) and handed over 
his colleague and rival Pmnes to Tiberius, who in return recog- 
nised him as prince of the Breuci. But his treachery did not go 
unpunished. He was caught and put to death by his Dalmatian 
namesake. Germanicus hastened in person to carry the news of 
the Bathinus to Augustus at Ariminum, and the Emperor returned 
to Rome, where he was received with thank-offerings. But although 
this victory practically determined the end of the war, Tiberius was 
obliged in the following year to bring his forces agahi into the field 
against the Dalmatians, and Bato, besieged in his last refuge, 
Andetrium (near Salonae), at length gave up the desperate cause, 
and was sent as a prisoner to Ravenna, where he died When he 
was led 'before Tiberius, and was asked why he had rebelled, he 
reprk d, " It is your doing, in that ye send not dogs or shepherds 
to guard your sheep, but wolves to prey on them." 

* Splonum, Rsetinium, and Seretiuni. 
Plausible suggestions have been made as 
to the identity of the first and second ; 
Seretium is quite unknown. 

f Possibly on the way from Narona to 


$ Now the Bednya, which falls into the 
Drave south-east of Warasdin. The date 
is determined by an inscription (C. I. L. 
ix. 6637) TI. AVG. IN LYRICO VIC. 


Germanicus, who had taken part in the suppression of this 
dangerous and tedious war — the hardest, it was said, since the war 
with Hannibal — showed high promise of future distinction, and, 
like his father, was a universal favourite. Triumphal ornaments 
were granted to him, and he was placed first in the rank of j rse- 
torians in the senate. To Tiberius himself the senate decreed a 
triumph, but it was not destined to be celebrated. The people 
had hardly time to realise the successes of the legions of the 
Danube, when the news came of a terrible disaster which had 
befallen the legions of the Rhine. 

Sect. III. — The German Rebellion and Defeat of Varus. 

§ 10. The Emperor seems to have entertained few fears of the 
possibility of a rising in his new German province. For he named 
as commander of the Rhine armies a man, distantly related to him- 
self by marriage, who had no experience of active warfare and was 
quite incompetent to meet any grave emergency. This was 
Publius Quinctilius Yarus, who, as imperial legatus in Syria, had 
won wealth, if not fame. It was said that when he came to that 
province he was poor and Syria was rich ; but when he went, he 
was rich and Syria was poor. His experiences as governor of Syria 
proved unlucky for him as governor in Germany. He utterly 
misconceived the situation. He imagined that the policy which 
he had successfully pursued in Syria might be adopted equally well 
in Germany. He failed to perceive the differences between the two 
cases ; and to mark the weak grasp with which Rome, as yet, held 
the lands between the Rhine and the A Ibis. He seems to have 
felt himself perfectly safe in the wild places of Germany, under the 
shield of the Roman name ; he imposed taxes on the natives and 
dealt judgment without any fear of consequences. 

But a storm was brewing under his very eyes, It seemed to 
those German patriots, who could never brook with patience the 
rule of a foreign master, that the moment had come when a 
struggle for the liberty of their nation might be attempted with 
some chance of success. In this enterprise only four prominent 
German peoples were concerned, the Cherusci, the Chatti, the Marsi, 
and the Bructeri ; the same who had before distinguished them- 
selves by their opposition to Drusus. The Frisians, the Chauci, 
the Suevic peoples who acknowledged the over lordship of Maroboduus, 
took no part in this insurrection. The plotter and leader of the 
rebellion was the Cheruscan prince Arminius, son of Sigimer, then 
in the twenty-sixth year of his age. He and his brother Flavus 
had received the privilege of Roman citizenship from Augustus; 

9 A.D. 


he had been raised to the equestrian rank, and had seen military 
szrvice under the Roman standard. He was not only physically 
brave, but it was thought that he possessed intellectual qualities 
unusual in a barbarian. The Romans naturally trusted his loyalty, 
and the insinuations of Segestes his countryman, who knew him 
better, received no attention. 

Sigimer, the brother, and Segimund, the son of this Segestes, 
threw themselves into the enterprise of Arminius, at.d Thusnelda, 
the daughter of Segestes, married the young patriot against the 
wishes of her father. 

It was the policy of the contrivers of the insurrection to keep the 
design dark until the last moment, and in the meantime to lull 
Varus, already secure, into a security still more complete. Of the 
five Germanic legions, two had their winter-quarters at Moguntiacum, 
the other three at Castra Vetera on the Lower Rhine, or at the 
fortress of Aliso on the Lupp'a. In summer they used sometimes 
to visit the interior parts of the province ; and in 9 a. p., Varus, 
with three legions, occupied summer- quarters on the V isurgis, 
probably not far from the modern town of Minden and the Porta 
Westfalica. The camp was full of advocates and clients, and the 
chief conspirators were present, on intimate terms w T ith the governor 
and constantly dining with him. Autumn came, and as the ra : ny 
season ap[roached Varus prepared to retrace his steps westward. 
There can be no doubt that a line of communication connected his 
summer station with Aliso ; and, if the army had returned as it 
came, Arminius could hardly have been successful in his plans. 
But a message suddenly arrived that a distant tribe had revolt d, 
and Varus decided to take a roundabout way homewards in order 
to suppress it. This news was suspiciously opportune for the 
rebels. The Romans had to make their way through a hilly 
district of pathless forests, and their difficulties were increased not 
only by the encumbrances of heavy baggage and camp-followers, 
but by the heavy rains, which had already begun and made the 
ground slippery. The moment had come for the German patriots 
to strike a desperate blow for independence. Segestes warned 
Varus of the impending danger, but the infatuated governor trusted 
the asseverations of Arminius. As the legions were making their 
laborious wa\ T tl rough the saltus Teutoburgiensis, they were assailed 
by the confederate insurgents. This Teutoburg forest cannot be 
identified with any certainty, but it seems to have been somewhere 
between the Amisia and the Luppia, north -east of Aliso. It is 
impossible to determine how far the circumstances of the case and 
how far the incompetence of the general were to blame for the 
disaster which followed. 


For three days the Romans continued to advance, resisting 
as well as they could the attacks of the foe, and if Varus had 
possessed the confidence of his soldiers and known how to hold 
them together, it seems probable that he might have passed through 
the danger in safety. But both officers and soldiers were demoralised 
under his command. The prefect of the horse deserted his post, 
taking all the cavalry with him, and leaving the foot-soldiers to 
their fate. Varus was the first to despair; he had received a 
wound, and he slew T himself. Others followed his example; and 
the rest surrendered. The prisoners were slain, some buried alive, 
some crucified, some sacrificed on the altars. The forces of Varus 
consisted of three legions (XVII., XV1IL, XIX.), six cohorts, and 
three squadrons of cavalry. The army had been weakened by the 
loss of detachments, which, at the request of the conspirators, had 
been sent to the territories of various tribes to preserve order. 
These detachments, taken chiefly from the auxiliary cohorts, were 
slaughtered when the insurrection broke out. Of the troops which 
were entrapped in the Teutoburg forest, numbering probably almost 
20,000 men, only the cavalry escaped and a few individual foot- 
soldiers. The three eagles of the three legions fell into the hands 
of the victors. Such a disaster had not befallen since the day of 

The peoples of central Germany from the Rhine to the Visurgis 
had thus thrown off the Roman yoke ; the cause of freedom had 
been victorious. Two results, fraught with great danger to the 
Roman Empire, seemed likely to follow. It was to be feared that 
the triumphant Germans would push across to the left bank of the 
Rhine, arouse a revolt there, and perhaps shake the fidelity of Gaul. 
And seemingly it was to be feared that Maroboduus, lord of the 
Marcomanni, and chief of the Suevic confederacy, would declare 
himself on the side of the insurgents, now they were successful. 
But neither of these dangers was realised. The first was 
foiled by the bravery of Lucius Csedicius, commander of the 
garrison in Aliso, and the promptness of Lucius Nonius Asprenas, 
who commanded the two legions stationed at Moguntiacum. The 
first movement of the rebels after their victory was to attack Aliso, 
but Casdicius defended it so bravely that they were obliged to 
blockade it. When provisions ran short and no relief came, the 
garrison stole out on a dark night, and made their way, harassed 
by the attacks of the enemy, to Castra Vetera. Thither Asprenas, 
when the news of the disaster reached him, had hastened with his 
two legions, to hinder the Germans from crossing the Rhine. 

The other danger was frustrated by the peculiar temper of 
Maroboduus himself. Arminius had triumphantly sent him the 

9 a.d. DEFEAT OF VARUS. 137 

head of Varus as a token of his own amazing success, hoping to 
persuade him to join the confederacy against Eome. But the 
message was ineffectual. Maroboduus refused to link himself 
with the insurgents or to depart from his policy of neutrality. 

§ 11. When the news of the defeat reached Rome, Augustus met 
the emergency with spirit and energy. The citizens seemed in- 
different to the crisis ; many of them refused to place their names 
on the military roll ; and the Emperor was obliged to resort to fines 
and threats of severer punishment. Troops hastily levied from the 
veterans and freedmen were sent with all speed to the Rhine ; and 
the Germans, who served as an imperial bodyguard, were 
disarmed and driven forth from Rome. In the following year 
(10 a.d.) Tiberius assumed the command of the Rhine army, which 
was increased to eight legions. Four of these were doubtless 
stationed at Moguntiacum and four at Vetera ; and it was probably 
the Emperor's intention that when the immediate crisis was past, 
the command of the Germanic armies should be divided between 
two generals. During the first year Tiberius seems to have been 
engaged in organising the defence of the Rhine, restoring the 
confidence of the old legions, and establishing discipline among the 
new. In the next year, 11 a.d., he crossed the river, and spent 
the summer in Germany, but he does not seem to have ventured 
far into the country or to have attempted any hostile enterprise. He 
was accompanied by his nephew Germanicus, to whom proconsular 
powers had been granted. In the folio win g year the duties of his 
consulship retained Germanicus at Rome, but in 13 a.d. he suc- 
ceeded Tiberius in the sole command on the Rhine. During these 
years nothing was done against the Germans, though the state of 
war still continued; but Germanicus was not long content with 
inactivity. Upon him seemed to devolve the duty of restoring his 
father's work, which had been so disastrously demolished, and he 
burned to do it. But his efforts to recover the lost dominion and 
reach the Albis once more must form the subject of another chapter. 

Sect. IV. — The Death of Augustus. 

§ 12. The slaughter of the Varian legions in the wilds of 
Germany tarnished the lustre of Roman arms, and cast a certain 
gloom over the last days of the Augustan age. The Emperor 
himself, now stricken in years, felt the blow painfully. He let his 
hair and beard grow long. It is said that he dashed his head 
against the walls of his chamber, crying, " Varus, Varus, give me 
back my legions ! " Every year he went into mourning on the 


anniversary of the defeat. He knew that his end must soon come, 
and he began to set his house in order. In 12 a.d. he addressed a 
letter to the senate, in which he commended Germanicus to its 
protection, and commended the senate itself to the vigilance of 
Tiberius. In the following year he assumed once more the pro- 
consular power for a period of ten years. At the same time (as 
has been recorded in Chapter IV.), Tiberius was raised to a position 
almost equal to that of the Emperor himself, and his son Drusus 
received the privilege of standing for the consulship in three years, 
without the preliminary step of the prastorship. 

A census was held in 14 a.d., and after its completion Tiberius 
set out for Illyricum, where he was to resume the supreme com- 
mand. Augustus accompanied him as far as Beneventum, but in, 
returning to tie Campanian coast was attacked by dysentery and 
died at Nola (August 19). Tiberius had been sent for without 
delay, and came, perhaps in time to hear the parting words of his 
stepfather. There is no good reason to believe the insinuation that 
the Emperor's death was caused or hastened by poison administered 
by Livia. Her son's accession was sure, and Augustus was old and 
weak ; so that it would hardly have been worth while to commit 
the crime. 

§ 13. Both contemporaries and posterity had good cause to 
regard Augustus as a benefactor ; he had given them the gift of 
peace. They also esteemed him fortunate (felix) ; and his good* 
fortune became almost proverbial. Yet it has been truly remarked 
that luck was the one thing that failed him. Both points of view 
are true. He was unusually fortunate. When he entered upon 
his career as a competitor for power, his motives were probably as 
vulgar as those of his rivals ; there is no reason to suppose that in 
the pursuit of ambition he had large views of political reform or an 
exalted ideal of statesmanship. His actions throughout the Civil 
War indicate the shrewd, cool, and collected mind ; they give no 
token of wide views, no promise of the future greatness. " But his 
intellect expanded with his fortunes, and his soul grew with his 
intellect."* When he came to be supreme ruler, he rose to the 
position ; he learned to take a large view of the functions of the 
lord of the Roman world ; and there was born in him a spirit oi 
enthusiasm for the work which history set him to accomplish. H$ 
knew too how to bear his fortune with dignity. But he was urn 
lucky when his fortune was most firmly established. It was nol 
given to the founder of the Empire to leave a successor of his own 
blood ; and, as we have seen, his endeavours to settle the sue? 
cession were doomed to one bitter disappointment after another, 
* Merivale, cap. xxxviii., ad Jin. 

14 a.d. DEATH OF AUGUSTUS. 139 

and led to domestic unhappiness. And it was not given to him to 
establish a secure frontier for the northern provinces of the Empire. 
The efforts in that direction, which were made under his auspices 
and seemed on the eve of being crowned with success, were undone 
by a stroke of bad luck. Yet, reviewing his whole career as a 
statesman and reflecting on all that he achieved, we may assuredly 
say that the Divine Augustus was fortunate with a measure 
of good fortune that is rarely bestowed on men who live out 
their life. 

§ 14. The written memorial of his own acts which Augustus 
composed before his death may be spoken of here. It has been 
incompletely preserved in a Latin inscription which covers the 
walls of the pronaos of a temple of Augustus at Ancyra. Owing to 
this accident it is generally known as the Monumentum Ancyranum, 
but its proper title was Res gestae, divi Augusti. Fragments of the 
Greek text of the same work have also been found in Pisidia, and 
have helped scholars in restoring the sense, where the Latin fails. 
In this document the Emperor briefly describes his acts from his 
nineteenth to his seventy- seventh year, with remarkable dignity, 
reserve, and moderation. The great historical value of this 
memorial, composed by the founder of the empire himself, need 
hardly be pointed out. 

An extract will give an idea of the way in which the great 
statesman wrote the brief chronicle of the history which he made. 

" I extended the frontiers," he says, " of all those provinces of 
the Eoman people, on whose borders there were nations not subject 
to our empire. I pacified the provinces of the Gauls and the 
Spains, and Germany, from Gades to the mouth of the Albis. 
I reduced to a state of peace the Alps from the district which is 
nearest the Adriatic Sea to the Tuscan Sea, without wrongful 
aggressions on any nation. My fleet navigated the ocean from 
the mouth of the Khine eastward as far the borders of the Cimbri, 
whither no Koman before ever passed either by land or sea ; 
and the Cimbri, the Charydes, and the Semnones and other 
German peoples of the same region sought the friendship of me 
and the Eoman people. By my command and under my auspices 
two armies were sent, almost at the same time to Ethiopia and 
to Arabia, called Eudasmon [Felix], and very large forces of the 
enemies in both countries were cut to pieces in battle, and many 
towns taken. The invaders of Ethiopia advanced as far as the 
town of Nabata, very near Meroe. The army which invaded 
Arabia marched into the territory of the Sabasi, as far as the town 
of Mariba." 

Another work compiled by Augustus was the Breviarium Imperii, 



containing a short statement of all the resources of the Eoman 
State, and including the number of the population of citizens, 
subjects, and allies. It was in fact a handbook to the statistics 
of the Roman Empire. At the end - of this work he recorded 
his solemn advice to succeeding sovrans, not to attempt to extend 
the boundaries of the Empire. 



6-9 A.D. 

Six legions operated in Dalmatia during 
the rebellion: V1L, VIII., XL, XV. 
Apollinaris, XX. Valeria Victrix. The 
Vllth and XJth remained in the 
country after the conclusion of the war ; 
the other four were withdrawn. The 
XVth and XXth were specially formed 
for the war. The headquarters of the 
Vllth were at Delminium, north-east of 
Salonse ; those of the Xlth at Burnum, 
near Kistanje, on south border of Libur- 
nia, but later probably at Salonse. The 
camp of the X Xth was also at Burnum ; 
that of the VHIth probably at Asseria, 
west of Burnum, on the road to Zara, near 
the modern Podgradje. 

See the important article of 0. Hirseh- 
feld, Zur Gesch. des pannonisch-dalma- 
tischen Krieges, in Hermes, xxv. 351 


Many attempts have been made to 
etermine the battlefield on which the 

legions of Varus were destroyed, and to 
identify the Teutoburgensis saltus. Claims 
have been advanced for various places, 
but it is improbable that the question 
will ever be decided with certainty. It 
seems clear from the rest of the narrative 
that the spot must lie north of the Lippe, 
and between the Ems and Weser. The 
circumstance that the place was hilly is 
also a vague clew ; that it was marshy, is 
of less help, as ground which was marshy 
theD maybe dry now. Many gold, silver, 
and copper Roman coins, of the time of 
Augustus, have been found in the neigh- 
bourhood of Venne, a marshy district 
some miles north of Osnabriick; while 
almost no coins of a later date have 
occurred. Hence the view of Mommsen, 
who holds this to be the scene of the 
disaster, is very plausible. ' The hills 
which played a part in the episode would 
then be the Wiehengebirge. 

As to the year of the battle, there is no 
doubt that it was 9 a.d., not 10 a.d. (as 
Brandes argued) and it probably took 
place in the extreme end of summer. 

Coin of Drusus. 

Ancieot Rome. 



§ 1. The Augustan age a new epoch for Rome. § 2. The Forum. § 3. 
The Forum Caesaris and Forum Augusti. Temples of Venus and 
Mars. § 4. Campus Martius. Pantheon, Mausoleum, &c. § 5. The 
Capitolium. § 6. The Palatine. Palace of Augustus and Temple of 
Apollo. The Avenfcine. 

§ 1. The Augustan age marks a new period in the history of the 
city of Borne. Augustus boasted that he found it a city of brick 
and left it a city of marble. For the change consisted not only in 
the large number of new buildings which were erected under his 
auspices, but in the material which was used. The white marble 
quarries of Luna had been recently discovered and this rich stone 
was employed in many of the public edifices ; while the aristocrats, 
stimulated by the example of the Emperor, used bright travertine to 
adorn the facades of their private houses. The most striking 
change that took place in the appearance of the city during the 
reign of Augustus was the transformation of the Forum, and the 
opening up of the adjacent quarters. In this, as in so much else, 
Julius Csesar had suggested innovations, which he did not live to 
carry out himself. 

§ 2. The Roman Forum extends from the foot of the Capitol to 
the north-west corner of the Palatine. Adjoining it on the north 
side, but separated from it by the rostrum, was the Comitium, a 
small enclosed space in which the Curia stood. The first step to 


the transformation of the Forum, was the removal of the rostrum 
(42 B.C.), so that the Forum and Comitium formed one place. The 
Curia had been burnt down ten years before, and Caesar began the 
building of a new one, which was finished by Augustus and 
dedicated under the name of Curia Julia.* But this was only the 
beginning of the new splendour that was to come upon the great 
centre of Roman life. A short description of the chief buildings 
which adorned it at the death of Augustus will show how much it 
was changed under the auspices of the first Princeps. 

At the north-west corner, close under the Capitoline, where the 
ascent to the Arx begins, stood the Temple of Concord, rebuilt by 
Tiberius in 10 a.d. and dedicated in the name of himself and his 
dead brother Drusus, as sedes Concordise Augustas. Owing to the 
nature of the ground this temple had a peculiar cramped shape, the 
pronaos being only half as broad as the cella. Adjacent on the 
south side was the Temple of Saturn, between the Clivus Capitoli- 
nus and the Vicus Jugarius. It was built anew in 42 B.C. by the 
munificence of Munatius Planous. The eight Ionic pillars which 
still mark the spot where it stood date from a later period. This 
temple served as the state treasury, which was therefore called the 
asrarium Saturni. 

Between the Vicus Jugarius and the Yicus Tuscus, occupying the 
greater part of the south side of the Forum, stood the Basilica 
Julia, which, like the Curia, the elder Caesar had left to his son to 
finish. Begun in 54 B.C., it was dedicated in 46 ; but after its com- 
pletion, some years later, it was burnt down. Then it arose again 
on a larger and more splendid scale, and was finally dedicated by 
Augustus a few months before his death, in the name of his 
unfortunate grandsons Gaius and Lucius Caesar. East of the 
Basilica, on the other side of the Yicus Tuscus, was situated the 
Temple of Castor, of which three Corinthian columns and a 
splendid Greek entablature still stand. Founded originally in 
memory of the help which the great twin brethren were said 
to have given to the Romans at Lake Regillus it was renewed 
for the second time by Tiberius, under the auspices of Augustus, 
and, like the Temple of Concord, dedicated in the name of the 
two sons of Livia. 

The Temple of the divine Julius, built on the spot where his 
body had been burned by the piety of his son, stood at the eastern 
end of the Forum, facing the new rostra which had been erected at 
the western side in front of the Temple of Concord. Behind the 
jiEdes Divi Julii and on the north side of the venerable round Temple 
of Testa, was the Regia, a foundation of high antiquity, ascribed 
* The Curia is now San Adriano. 

27 b.c -14 a.d. THE FORUM. 143 

to Numa, and used under the Republic as the office of the Pontifex 
Maximus. It had been often destroyed by fire, and in 36 b.c. it 
was rebuilt in splendid style by On. Domitius Calvinus, and there 
Lepidus transacted the duties of his pontifical office. But when 
Augustus himself became chief pontiff (12 B.C.), he resigned the 
Regia to the use of the vestal virgins. On the north side, east of 
the Curia, stood a building originally designed in 179 B.C. by the 
censors Fulvius and iEmilius, but built anew by L. iEmilius 
Paullus in 54 b.c. and since then known as the Basilica iEmilia. 
Burnt down forty years later, it was rebuilt by Augustus, with 
pillars of Phrygian marble. The Temple of Janus, which Augustus 
thrice closed, stood somewhere — the exact position is uncertain — 
near the point where the Argiletum entered the Forum, between 
the Curia and the Basilica iEmilia. 

§ 3. The Argiletum, a street famous for booksellers, traversed 
the populous and busy region north of the Forum, which was 
densely packed with houses and threaded only by narrow 
streets. Caesar formed the design of opening up this crowded 
quarter and establishing a free communication on this side between 
the Forum and the great suburb of Rome, the Campus Martius. In 
order to effect this he constructed a new market-place: and it was 
owing probably to this scheme that the Curia Julia, whose building 
began about the same time (54 b.c), was built nearer to the Forum 
than the old curia. The Forum Julium, as it was called, lay 
north of the Curia, and, like it, was dedicated (46 b.c.) before 
completion, and finished after Caesar's death. The chief building 
which adorned it was the Temple of Venus Genetrix, mother of the 
Julian race, which Caesar had vowed at the battle of Pharsalia. 

As the elder Caesar had made a vow at Pharsalia, so the younger 
Caesar made a vow at Philippi. The vow was to Mars Ultor, and 
was duly fulfilled. The house of Mars the Avenger likewise became 
the centre of a new Forum. This temple, dedicated by its founder 
on the first of his own month in 2 B.C., served as the resting-place 
of the standards which his diplomacy had recovered from the 
Parthians. The Forum Augustum adjoined that of Caesar on the 
north-east side. It was rectangular in shape, but on the east and 
west sides there were semi-circular spaces with porticoes in which 
statues of Roman generals in triumphal robes were set up. It 
became the practice that in this Forum, the members of the 
imperial family should assume the toga virilis ; and when victorious 
generals were honoured by statues of bronze, they were set up here. 
These fora of the first Caesars, father and son, were the beginning 
of a rehabilitation of this quarter of the city, which was resumed, a 
century later, by the Emperors Nerva and Trajan; and they 



Chap. x. 

established an easy communication between the Forum and the 
Field of Mars. Hitherto the way from the Campus to the Forum 
had been round by the west and south sides of the Capitoline, 
through the Porta Carmen talis. 

Walls of the Emperors 

1. Theatrum et Porticus Pompeii. 

2. Pantheon. 

3. Theatrum Marcelli. 

4. Templum Veneris et Romae. 

5. Templum Pacis. 

6. Forum Nervee. 

7. Forum Augusti. 

8. Forum Julium. 

9. Forum Trajani. 

Walls of Seruius 

10. Basilica Julia. 

11. Templum Castorum. 

12. Templum Saturni. 

13. Templum D. Yespasiani. 

14. Templum Concordiae. 

15. Basilica JEmilia. 

16. Templum Jovis Capitolini. 

17. Arx. 

§ 4. The Campus Martius itself, whether taken in the wider or 
the narrower sense, put on a new aspect under the auspices of the 
Caesars. The Campus in the stricter sense was bounded on the 

27 b.c-14 a.d. THE PANTHEON. 145 

south by the Circus Flaminius aud on the east by the Via* Lata. 
It was the great rival of Caesar who set the example of building 
on this ground. In 55 B.C. Pompey erected his " Marble Theatre." 
Csesar began the construction of marble Saepta — an enclosure 
for the voting of the centuries — which was finished by Agrippa. 
The name of Agrippa has more claim to be associated with the 
Field of Mars than either Caesar's or Pompey's. The construction 
of the Pantheon, which is preserved to the present day, was due 
to his enterprise. This edifice is of circular form and crowned 
with a dome, which was originally covered with tiles of gilt bronze. 
The dome is an instance "of the extraordinarily skilful use of 
concrete by the Eomans; it is cast in one solid mass and is as 
free from lateral thrust as if it were cut out of one block of 
stone. Though having the arch form, it is in no way constructed 
on the principle of the arch." * The building is lighted only 
from the top. "The interior measures 132 feet in diameter, as 
well as in height. The walls are broken by seven niches, three 
semicircular, and, alternating with them, three rectangular, wherein, 
at a later period, splendid marble columns with entabla'ures were 
introducedc Above this rises an attica with pilasters, the original 
portion of which has undoubtedly been changed, since we know 
that Diogenes' Caryatides once rose above the entablatures of the 
columns, and divided the apertures of the great niches. Above the 
attica rises, in the form of a hemisphere, the enormous dome, which 
has an opening in the top twenty-six feet in diameter, through 
which a flood of light pours into the space beneath. Its simple 
regularity, the beauty of its parts, the magnificence of the materials 
employed, the quiet harmony resulting from the method of illumi- 
nation, oive to the interior a solemnly sublime character, which 
has hardly been impaired, even by the subsequent somewhat 
inharmonious alterations. These have especially affected the dome, 
the beautiful and etfectively graded panels of which were formerly 
richly adorned with bronze ornaments. Only the splendid 
columns of yellow marble (giallo antico), with white marble 
capitals and bases, and the marble decorations of the lower walls, 
bear witness to the earlier magnificence of the building. The 
porch is adorned with sixteen Corinthian columns." f 

Agrippa also built the adjacent baths called after him, Thermae 
Agrippae (27 and 25 b.c), and a basilica, which he dedicated to 
Neptune in memory of his naval victories, and enclosed with 
a portico which from the pictures adorning it was called the 
Portico of the Argonauts. Another wealthy noble of the day, 

* Middleton, Remains of Ancient f Taken from Ltibke's History of Art 
Eome,ii. 131. | (Eng. Tr.). 



Statilius Taurus, constructed the first stone amphitheatre in Eome, 
and its site, too, was somewhere in the Field of Mars. The first 
Princeps himself seemed content to leave the adornment of the 
Campus chiefly to the munificence of his lesser fellow- citizens. 
But much further north than all the buildings which have been 
mentioned, where the Campus becomes narrow by the approach 
of the Via Flaminia to the river, he built a great mausoleum 
for the Julian family, a round structure surmounted by a statue 
of him self. 

On the south side of the Flaminian Circus, in the Prata Flaminia, 
a region which might be included in the Campus, in a wider 
sense of the name, Augustus erected the Porticus Octavias in the 
name of his sister, and attached to it a library and a collection of 
works of art. It was close to the Ttmplum Herculis Musarum 
built by Fulvius Nobilior, the patron of the poet Ennius, and 
renewed under Augustus, and surrounded by a portico which was 
dedicated as the Porticus Philippi, in honour of L. Marcius Philippus, 
the step-father of the Emperor. Near the Portico of Octavia, were 
the Theatres of Balbus and Marcellus, both dedicated in the same 
year (11 B.C.). The first was one of those works which the rich 
men of the day executed through the influence and example of 
Augustus. The second had been begun by Cassar, but was finished 
by Augustus and dedicated in the name of his nephew Marcellus. 
The Porticus Octavii (close to the Flaminian Circus), which was 
dedicated by Cn. Octavius after the victory over Perseus, was 
burnt down and restored under Augustus. It was remarkable as 
the earliest example of Corinthian pillars at Kome. 

§ 5. From the Forum the Clivus Capitolinus, passing the temple 
of Saturn, led up to the saddle of the Mons Capitolinus, the smallest 
of all the mountains of Rome. Thence it ascended to the southern 
height, called specially the Capitolium, the citadel of Servian Rome, 
where the treaties with foreign nations were kept and triumphal 
spoils were dedicated. Another path led up to the northern height, 
the Arx, which underwent little change under the Empire. But on 
the southern hill it was otherwise ; there new buildings arose under 
the auspices of Augustus. The highest part of the hill was occupied 
by the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, in which the 
senate used to meet on certain solemn occasions. This temple, 
burnt down in 83 B.C., had been rebuilt, but it required and 
received costly repairs in the time of Augustus. Ranged abound it 
on lower ground were many lesser temples, of which that of Jupiter 
Feretrius, to whom Romulus dedicated his spolia opima, and that 
of Fides founded by Numa, may be specially mentioned. Augustus; 
increased their number. In 20 b.c. he dedicated the round temple 

27 b.c-14 a.d. THE PALATINE. 147 

of Mars Ultor, and in 22 B.C. that of Jupiter Tonans, in memory 
of an occasion, during his Cantabrian expedition, on which he had 
narrowly escaped death by lightning. This temple, marvellous for 
its splendour, attracted multitudes of visitors and worshippers, and 
its position at the point where the Clivus reached the Area 
Capitolina might suggest that Jupiter Tonans was a sort of gate- 
keeper for the greater Jupiter on the summit. 

§ 6. But the Palatine Mount was the centre from which the de- 
velopment of Home went out. It was the original Koine, the Roma 
quadrata, where were localised the legends of its foundation. 
There were to be seen the Casa Komuli, the Lupercal where 
Romulus and Remus were fed by the wolf, the cornel- tree, and the 
mundus, receptacle of those things which at the foundation of the 
city -were buried to ensure its prosperity. Under the Republic, the 
Palatine was the quarter where the great nobles and public men 
lived. Augustus himself was born there, and there he built his 
house. So it came about that the name which designated the city 
of Rome in its earliest shape, Palatium, became the name of the 
private residence of its first citizen. The palace of Augustus was a 
magnificent building in the new and costly style which had only 
recently been introduced in Rome. Ovid, standing in imagination 
by the temple of Jupiter Stator, where the Palatine hill slopes down 
to the Yia Sacra, could see the splendid front of the palace, 
" worthy of a god." 

Singula dum miror, video fulgentibus armis 
Conspicuos postes tectaque digna dec* 

The other great building by which Augustus transformed the 
appearance of the Palatine was the temple of Apollo, begun in 
36 B.C. after the end of the war with Sextus Pompeius, and dedi- 
cated eight years later. It was an eight-pillared peripteros, built 
of the white marble of Luna, and richly adorned with works of art. 
The chief sight was the colossus of bronze representing Augustus 
himself under the form of Apollo. Between the columns stood the 
statues of the fifty Danaids, and over against them their wooers, the 
sons of iEgyptus, mounted on horseback. Under the statue of the 
god were deposited in a vault the Sibylline Hooks. In the porticoes 
were two libraries, one Latin and one Greek. 

On the northern slope of the Palatine, facing the Capitol, stood 
the temple of Augustus, which Tiberins and the Empress Livia 
erected in his honour after his death. 

On the south side the Palatine looks down on the Circus 
Maximus, which was restored by Augustus. Opposite rises the 
Aventine, a hill long uninhabited and afterwards chiefly a plebeian 
* Tristia, iii. 1. 53. 


quarter, on which the chief shrine was the temple of Diana, whence 
the hill was sometimes called collis Diarize. This temple was 
rebuilt by L. Oornificius under Augustus, who himself restored 
the sanctuaries of Minerva, Juno Regina, and Jupiter Libertas on 
the same hill. Livy was hardly guilty of exaggeration when 
he called Augustus " the founder and restorer of all the temples " 
of Rome.* 

§ 7. A word must be said here about the triumphal arch (arcus 
triumphalis) which was a characteristic feature in the external 
appearance of Rome and other important cities of the Empire. 
Under this name are included not only arches erected in honour of 
victories, but also those which celebrate other public achievements. 
A triumphal arch was built across a street. It consisted either of 
a single archway, or of a large central and two side ones, or some- 
times of two of the same height side by side. There were generally 
columns against the piers, supporting an entablature, and each 
facade was ornamented with low reliefs. Above all rose an attica 
with the inscription, and upon it were placed the trophies in case 
the arch commemorated a victory. The arch of Augustus at 
Ariminum, erected in memory of the completion of the Via 
Flaminia, and his arches at Augusta Prsetoria and Susa, still stand. 
The general appearance of the arch resembles that of the gate of 
a city, and it seems to have owed its origin to the Triumphal Gate 
through which a victorious general led his army into Rome to 
celebrate his triumph 

* iv. 20o 


Head of Maecenas. 


Tomb of Virgil. 



§ 1. Augustan literature. Writings of Augustus. Circles of Maecenas 
and Messalhi. Asimus Pollio. § 2. Virgil. § 3. iEmilius Macer. 
Cornelius Gallus. §4. Horace. Valgius. Melissus. Domitius Marsus. 
§ 5. Tibullus. Propertius. Ovid ; his banishment. Albinovanus 
Pedo. § 6. Gratius. Manilius. § 7. Livy. Pompeius Trogus. 
§ 8. Hyginus. Verrius Flaccus. Philosophy, rhetoric and oratory. 
Jurists. § 9. Greek writers. Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Longinus. 
Nicolaus of Damascus. Strabo. 

Sect. I. — Latin Poetry. 

§ 1. Latin literature was affected seriously, and in many ways, 
by the fall of the Republic and the foundation of the Empire. The 
Augustan age itself was brilliant, but after the Augustan age 
literature rapidly declined. The most conspicuous figures in the 
world of letters under Augustus had outlived their youth under 
the Kepublic ; some of them had served on the losing side. But 
these soon became reconciled to the new order of things. The 
Emperor drew men to himself by virtue of the peace and security 
which he had established (cunctos dulcedine otii pellexit*); and 
it was his special object to patronise men of literary talent and 
engage their services for the support of his policy. His efforts 
were successful ; he won not only flattery, but sympathy for the 
new age which he had inaugurated; he enlisted in his cause, not 
* Tacitus, Annals, 1. 2. 


only timeservers, but the finest spirits of the day. Although the 
Augustan literature is certainly marked by a vein of flattery to 
the court, and by a lack of republican independence, yet we cannot 
but recognise a genuine enthusiasm for the new age, for the peace 
which it had brought after the long civil wars, and for the great- 
ness of the Roman Empire. And, from a literary point of view, 
the Augustan age ranks among the most brilliant in the history 
of the world ; below the Periclcan, perhaps below the Elizabethan, 
but certainly far above that of Louis XIY. It is true that the 
cessation of the political life of the Republic necessarily meant the 
decline of oratory ; it is true that historians could no longer treat 
contemporary events with free and independent criticism. \ It is 
true likewise that the severe style of old Latin prose begins to 
degenerate, and that poetry lays aside its popular elements and 
becomes more strictly artificial. In fact the poets deprecate 
popularity and despise the public. Horace's cry " Odi profanum 
vulgus et arceo" is characteristic of the age. But for literary 
excellence and for the perfection of art the best of the Augustan 
writers had a clear judgment and a delicate taste. The tendencies 
of the new age inevitably led to a decline ; but, as an ample 
compensation, we have Virgil, Horace, Tibullus, Livy. 

"Augustus, as we have said, concerned himself with the pro- 
motion of literary activity, and the patronage of men of letters. 
"He fostered in all ways the talents of his age." * He founded 
two libraries, one in the portico of Octavia, the other at the temple 
of Apollo on the Palatine. He was an author himself both in prose 
and verse. He wrote " Exhortations to Philosophy ; " and a poem 
in hexameters, entitled " Sicilia." The Monumentum Ancyranum 
and the Breviarium totius imperii have been mentioned else- 

The two chief ministers of Augustus were authors likewise 
Agkippa wrote memoirs of his own life, and edited an Atlas of the 
world. Maecenas composed occasional poems of a light nature, 
and also wrote some prose works. But he is more famous as a 
patron of poets than as a poet himself. His literary circle included 
Horace, Virgil, Varius, Tucca, Domitius Marsus, besides many lesser 
names. The orator M. Valerius Messalla (64 b.c-9 a.d.), also 
drew round him a group of men of letters, among whom the 
most distinguished were the poets Tibullus, Valgius Rufus, 
iEmilius Macer, and perhaps Ovid. This circle seems to have 
held quite aloof from politics. Messalla's own literary work 
chiefly consisted in translations from the Greek, both prose and 

* Suetonius, Augustus j f See above, Chap. IX. $ 14. 

Chap. xi. VIRGIL. 151 

C. Asinids Pollio (75 b.c-5 a.d.) held a unique position. Having 
been on the side of Antonius, he withdrew after Actium from 
political life, and holding himself aloof from the court, devoted 
himself to literature, with a certain independence and perhaps 
antagonism to the spirit of the age. He was very learned and 
a very severe critic. He wrote tragedies, winch are piaised by 
Yirgil ; * and a history of the civil wars (Historise) reaching 
from 60 to about 42 B.c.f He was a friend of both Virgil and 

§ 2. Publics Vergillius J Maro was born in 70 b.c. at Andes, 
near Mantua. His rustic features bore testimony to his humble 
origin ; his father was an artisan. He went to school at Cremona ; 
afterwards he studied at Mediolanum, and finally at Rome, where 
Octavius, afterwards to be Ca3sar and Augustus, was his fellow- 
student in rhetoric. He studied philosophy under tlie Epicurean 
Siro. After his return home, he and his family experienced the 
calamities of the civil war. Octavius Musa, who was appointed 
to carry out the distribution of land to veteran soldiers in the 
district of Cremona, transgressed the limits of that district and 
encroached § upon the neighbouring territory of Mantua (41 B.C.). 
Virgil's father was among the sufferers ; but Asinius Pollio, who 
was then legatus in Gallia Transpadana, and the poet Cornelius 
Gallus, interested themselves in his behalf. At their suggestion, 
Virgil betook himself to Rome, and obtained from Caesar the 
restitution of his father's farm. The first Eclogue is an expression 
of gratitude to Caesar for this protection : deus nobis hcec otia 
fecit. But Virgil and his father were not permitted to remain 
long in possession of their recovered homestead. The same 
injustice was repeated a year or two later, and the poet was even 
in danger of his life. Again he went to Rome, and the influence 
of Maecenas, to whom he had probably become known by the 
publication of some of his Bucolics, secured him, not restitution 
but compensation, perhaps by a farm in Campania, where he spent 
much of his later life. 

Virgil's first work, the Bucolics, consisting of ten "eclogae," or 
idylls, was composed in the years 41-39 b.c. Inspired by 
Theocritus, they are written in the same metre, and are in great 
part imitations from bis idylls. But most of them contain 
references to contemporary persons and events, especially to the 
hardships in Transpadane Gaul from which Virgil himself 

* Eclogue viii. 10 : Sophocleo digna 

f See Horace, Odes, ii. 1. 

X This is the true spelling of the poet's 
name; but it is quite needless to alter 

the familiar English abbreviation of the 
name from Virgil to Vergil. 

$ Hence the line, Mantua vaa miseras 
nimium vicina Cremonae, Eel. ix. 28. 


had suffered so sorely. Cassar, Cornelius Gallns, Alfenus Yarus 
(the successor of Pollio as legatus), and above all, Pollio himself, 
have their places in the woods of Tityrus. The fourth Eclogue, 
written for the year of Pollio's consulship (40 B.C.), treats a theme 
which hardly belongs to bucolic poetry. Virgil feels that he has 
to make his woods " worthy of a consul." 

Si canimus silvas, silvae sint consule dignas. 

He salutes the return of the " Saturn i an kingdoms" and the 
golden age.* The salutation was premature by ten years; and 
when peace at length came to the Roman world, Pollio, instead 
of being its inaugurator, was rather an opponent. But it is 
interesting to observe, that the idea of some great change for the 
better was in the air. 

The Bucolics were written in the north of Italy (not yet " Italy " 
at that time); his next work was written in the south, chiefly at 
Naples. It was Maecenas who suggested the subject of the 
Georgics, a didactic poem in hexameters, dealing with the various 
parts of a farmer's work. The first Book treats of agriculture, the 
second of the plantation of trees, the third of the care of livestock, 
the fourth of bees. No subject was more congenial to Virgil's 
Muse — his "rustic Muse," as he says himself; and from some 
points of view the Georgics may be regarded as his masterpiece. 
He has here achieved a task, which is the hardest that a poet 
can undertake, to write true poetry in a didactic form. Rare 
artistic instinct and genuine love of his subject were happily joined 
to produce this unique poem, in which Virgil seems to be more truly 
himself than either in the Bucolics or the Aeneid. The composi- 
tion and revision of this work occupied the years from 37 to 30 B.C. 
when it was read aloud to Csesar on his return from Actium. It 
is interesting to note that the latter part of the fourth Book was 
originally devoted to the praises of the poet's friend Cornelius 
Gallus, but that after his execution (27 B.c.)f this passage was 
cut out by the wish of the Emperor and replaced by the story of 

In the Georgics, Virgil promises that he will soon gird himself 
to a greater task, and sing the deeds of Caesar. J But his poem took 
the form of an epic, in which, not Cassar, but iEneas, the founder 
of the Julian gens, was the hero. The work was begun about 

* Toto surget gens aurea mundo (1. 9). 

f See above, Chap. VII. $ 8. 

J Bk. iii. 46. Propertius, writing in 
26 or 25 B.C. heralds the coming of the 
^Eaeid thus (iii. 34. 65) : 

Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Graii ; 

Nescio quid maius nascitur Iliade. 

Other lines in this context suggest that 
Virgil may have intended to celebrate the 
victory of Actium after the completion of 
the iEneid. 


29 B.C., and occupied the remaining ten years of the poet's life. He 
died at Brundusium in 19 B.C., leaving the iEneid unfinished. His 
wishes were that the manuscript should he hurnt, but Augustus, 
that such a great work should not perish, committed its publication 
to Varius and Tucca, friends of Virgil, on the condition that they 
should make no alterations. Though Augustus was not the hero, 
there were opportunities, in a poem doaling with the origin of " the 
Latin race and the Alban fathers and the walls of lofty Home," * 
to look forward over the ages of Roman history and celebrate the 
glories of him who was to " found a golden age.f The ^Eneid has 
suffered from the premature death of its creator ; it was neither 
finished nor revised. Yet it would hardly be an injustice to Virgil 
to say that its excellence and charm lie in particular episodes, in 
delicate and subtle details of language and rhythm, and not in the 
poem regarded as a whole. But it must always stand beside the 
Iliad and Odyssey, as the third great epic of antiquity. The 
Eoman dignity and magnitude of the subject, and the wonderful 
power of the narratives in the second, fourth, and sixth Books, 
have exalted the iEneid far above the G eorgics in the estimation of 
posterity ; yet it might be argued that Virgil had more in common 
with Wordsworth than with Milton or with his worshipper Dante. 
The note of Virgil is "natural piety;" perhaps he cannot be 
described better than by the happy expression which his friend 
Horace applied to him, anima Candida. 

Virgil was buried close to Naples on the road to Puteoli, and 
the inscription on his tomb, said to have been dictated by himself 
before his death, ran thus : 

Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc 
Parthenope ; cecini pascua, rura, duces. 

§ 3. In connection with Virgil, it is natural to mention his elder 
contemporary and friend, L. Varius Kuftjs (b.c. 74-14), celebrated 
for his epics on Caasar and Octavian,J and more celebrated for his 
tragedy the Thyesfes. Another poet of about the same age was 
iEMiLius Macer of Verona, also a friend of Virgil, and disguised 
in the Bucolics under the name of Mopsus. He wrote poems on 
natural history (Ornithogonia and Theriaca), but they have beer, 
less lucky than his models, the Greek poems of Nicander, which 
survive to the present day. The unfortunate Cornelius Gallus 
(69 B.a-27) must also be mentioned here, though his name has its 
place rather in the age of Catullus and Cinna. It was he who 
transplanted the erotic elegy of the Alexandrine Greeks to Roman 

* JEneid, i. 6. J He was expected to write a glorifl- 

f jEneid, vi. 791. | cation of Agrippa: Hor.. Odes, i. 6. 



soil, and founded " the school of Euphorion," to which Catullus and 
Cinna belonged. He translated Euphorion into Latin ; and wrote 
four Books of original elegies on bis own mistress Cytheris under 
the name of Lycoris. His death has been already noticed.* 

§ 4. The great lyric, like the great epic, poet of Home was of 
humble birth. Q. Hokatius Flaccus was the son of a freedman, 
and was born at Venusia, on the borders of Apulia and Lucania,f in 
65 B.C. After the death of Julius Caesar (44 B.C.) he joined the cause 
of Brutus and served under him in Asia and Macedonia, until the 
Battle of Philippi (42 B.C.). On that occasion he took part in the 
general flight, as he tells us himself. J and afterwards returning to 
Rome, obtained a post as a queestor's secretary. During the next 
ten years he wrote his Satires and Epodes, which brought him fame, 
and secured him the friendship of Yirgil and Yarius, who introduced 
him to Maecenas. In 37 B.C. we find him accompanying Maecenas 
on the journey to Brundusium, of which he has left us a pleasant 
description^ The intimacy with Maecenas ripened ; the Epicurean 
views of life which both held were a bond betweemthe poet and his 
patron. Horace had a taste for country life, and in 33 B.C. Maecenas 
bestowed upon him a farm in the Sabine territory, which he preferred 
to " royal Rome." Independence was one of the chief character- 
istics of Horace, and he felt more independent in the country than 
in the immediate neighbourhood of the court. 

The first Book of the Satires appeared about 35 b.c. : the second 
Book about five years later. In this style of composition the 
predecessor of Horace was Lucilius ; || but while Lucilius criticised 
persons and politics freely, Horace prudently confined himself to 
generalities on society and literature, owing to the altered circum- 
stances of the time. Lucilius had imitated the Greek wiitersof Old 
Comedy, such as Cratinus and Aristophanes ; and Horace stood in 
somewhat the same relation to his predecessor as the New Comedy 
stood to the Old. From the^e " Talks " (sermones, as Horace calls 
them himself If), written, like those of Lucilius, in hexameter verse 
and in colloquial style, we learn much about the personality of 
Horace and about his friends. In the Epodes, which were published 

* Another poetic friend of Yirgil is 
mentioned in the Bncolics under the name 
(perhaps fictitious) of Codrus : Proxima 
Phcebi versibus ille facii (vii. 22). 

f Satires, ii. 1. 34: " Lucanus an 
Appulus anceps." He has given an 
account of his early life in Sat., i. 6. 

% Odes, ii. 7. 

$ Satires, i. 5. 

|| Horace discusses Lucilius and his 
relation to Greek comedy in Sat., i. 4 (cp. 

Sat., i. 10). In 1. 56 he states that Lucilius 
was his own predecessor (his ego quae 
nunc, olim qute scripsit Lucilius). 

^[ Epistles, i. 4. 1 : Albi, nostrum ser- 
in onuni candide iudex. And this is the 
title given in the Manuscripts. But Horace 
also called his epistles sermones, so that 
satires is a very convenient name for the 
sake of distinction. Sermo indicates the 
colloquial style. 

Chap. xi. HORACE. 155 

about the same time as the second Book of the Satires, Horace 
imitated Archilochus and attacked persons in coarse language. All 
these poems (except the last) are written in couplets consisting of 
a longer and a shorter line, generally an iambic trimeter followed 
by an iambic dimeter. They are the least interesting work of 
Horace, but they were a good exercise in handling metres and 
in the imitation of Greek models, and they led to the Odes.* 

The greatest " monument "f °f poetry that Horace has bequeathed 
to posterity is the collection of lyrical poems in (our Books known as 
the Odes. The first three Books were publisl ed in 24 B.C., the fourth 
eleven years later. In lyric composition he does not el aim originality, 
he only ''adapted iEolian song to Italian measures ;" but he claims 
priority; he was the first (except Catullus) to make the attempt : — 

Princeps iEolium carmen ad Italos 
Deduxisse modos. 

For this he bids the Muse crown him with Delphic laurel. But 
though the Greek lyric poets, especially Sappho and Alcasus, were 
his models, il was an original idea on the part of Horace to turn 
away from the Alexandrine poets who were then in vogue, and go 
back to the older singers. It required true genius and wonderful 
artistic instinct to tune the borrowed lyre to the accents of another 
tongue. Horace was supremely successful. In the Odes his poetic 
judgment is, with few exceptions, faultless ; the happiest word 
comes almost inevitably ; his felicity (curiosa felicitas) was praised 
by Boman critics. Some of these poems are probably free trans- 
lations from the Greek, but many refer to contemporary people and 
events, some deal with Boman history, and the victories won under 
the auspices of Augustus. The fourth Book of the Odes is said to 
have been published at the instance of the Emperor. 

But in the interval between his earlier and later lyric works, 
Horace wrote Epistles. The first Book appeared about 20 b.c. 
After the strict technical constraints to which he had subjected 
himself in the Odes, it was a relaxation for the poet to expand him- 
self in the easy and familiar style of the Sermones. But the 
urbane Epistles, though written in the same colloquial language, are 
very different from the Satires ; they are more mature, less polemical, 
and they have a charm of serenity which is wanting in the earlier 
work. It might be said, that if the genius of Virgil found its truest 
expression in the Georgics, so that of Horace was best expressed in 
his Epistles ; and in this form of composition he has never been 

* Horace hims If does not use either I f Monuraentum sere perennius, Odes, 
epode or ode. The epodes he calls iambi, iii. 30. 1. 
the odes carmina. 


equalled The second Book of the Epistles, written in the later years 
of his life, includes a Treatise on Poetry, the Ars Poetica, in the 
* form of a letter to his friends the Pisos. 

Horace died in 8 B.C., surviving by a few months his benefactor 
Maecenas, beside whom he was buried. Though he had at first 
stood aloof, he became reconciled, as time went on, to the Empire, 
was on good terms with Augustus, and did what was required of 
him as an Augustan poet. And independent though Horace was, 
he had a decided weakness for friendships with great people. The 
influence of Maecenas probably did much to stimulate his poetic 
activity; for Horace was by no means one of those who cannot help 
singing. He was not (i inspired ; " his poetry is marked by lucidity 
and judgment. 

Many poets, whose works have not survived, but famous in their 
own day, are mentioned by Horace. His friend Valgius, who wrote 
Epigrams and Elegies, was actually compared to Homer.* Aristius 
Fuscus and Fundakcus composed dramas, Pupius doleful tragedies. 
Here may be mentioned also C. Melissds, who wrote a jest-book, 
and originated the fdbula trabeata ; and Domitius Maesus, famous 
chiefly for his Epigrams,! in which field he was the predecessor 
and master of Martial. 

§ 5. Of the elegiac poets of this period whose works have come 
down to us r the most charming is Albius Tibullus (54-19 B.C.). 
Adopting the form of Alexandrine elegv, he breathed into it a fresh 
spirit of Italian country life. In his love poems to Delia.J whose true 
name was Plania, there is a certain tender melancholy which we do 
not find in the rest of classical literature. By his deft handling of 
the pentameter he made an important technical advance in the 
development of Latin Elegy. Along with his works and under his 
name were published after his death some poems, which were not 
by him, but by a certain Lygdamus (perhaps a fictitious name). 
Also included in the collection of his elegies are some which were 
written by Sulpicia, the niece of his patron Messalla. 

The Umbrian poet Sextus Propertius (probably born at Asisium, 
about 49-15 B.C.) did not emancipate himself like Tibullus 
from the influence of his Alexandrine models, Callimachus and 
Philetas. On the' contrary he prides himself on his Alexandrinism, 
and calls himself the Roman Callimachus. He was very learned, 
and his elegies are full of obscure references to out of the way 
myths. Nevertheless no works of the age are so thoroughly 
impressed with the individuality of the writer as the passionate 
poems of Propertius. The passion which inspired his song, was his 

* By Tibullus (iv. 1. 1*79), aeterno propior I f The title of his book was Cicuta. 
non alter Homero. j £ SijKos =■ planus. 



love for Hostia, a beautiful and accomplished courtezan, whom he 
disguised under the name of Cynthia, as Catullus had disguised 
Clodia under Lesbia, and Tibullus Plania under Delia. His first 
Book of Elegies brought him fame, and probably secured him an 
admission into the circle of Maecenas. The imagination of Pro- 
pertius was eccentric, his nature melancholic. He looked at things 
on their gloomy side, and perhaps his special charm is his skil- 
fulness in suggesting vague possibilities of pain or terror. He loved 
the vague, both in thought and in expression; in his metaphors, the 
image and the thing imaged often pass into each other, and the 
meaning becomes indistinct. He seems to have been a man of 
weak will, and this is reflected in his poetry. It has been noticed 
by those who have studied his language, that he prefers to express 
feelings as possible rather than as real ; his thoughts naturally ran 
in the potential mood. His connection with Cynthia lasted for 
about five years, and after it was broken off, Propertius wrote little. 
It was Cynthia who had made him a poet.* 

The third of the great Roman elegiac poets, P. Ovidius Naso, of 
equestrian family, was born at Sulmo in the Paslignian territory, 
43 B.C. Trained in rhetoric and law, he entered upon an official 
career and by the favour of Augustus received the latus clavus, and 
held some of the lower equestrian posts, such as vigintivir and 
decemvir. But he gave his profession up for the sake of poetry. 
He has said himself, in a verse which probably suggested a familiar 
line of Pope, that verse-writing came to him by nature : 

Quidquid tentabam dicere versus erat. 

He is the only one of the great Augustan poets whose literary 
career belongs entirely to the Augustan age. His works may be 
classified in three periods. (1) The extant works of the early 
period are all on amatory subjects and in elegiac verse. The 
Amoves, in three Books, celebrate Corinna. The Ars Amatoria, 
likewise in three Books, gives advice to lovers of both sexes 
as to the conducting of their love affairs, while the Remedia 
Amor is prescribes cures for a troublesome passion.f But the best 
work of this period is the Heroides, a collection of imaginary 
letters of legendary heroines, such as Penelope, Dido, Phasdra, 
to their lovers. Here vvid has shown his poetic power at its 

(2) The two works of the second period, the Metamorphoses and 
the Fasti, are the most ambitious of Ovid's works. They deal 

* So Martial : Cynthia te vatem fecit, 
lascive Properti. 
f The short poem Medicamina faciei, 

hints for a lady's toilette, also falls in 
this period. 


respectively with Greek and Roman mythology. For the Metamor- 
phoses or Transformations, composed in hexameter verse, Ovid 
obtained his material chiefly from the Alexandrine poets Nicander 
and Parthenius. The Fasti, a sort of commentary on the Roman 
calendar, in elegiac metre, should have consisted of twelve books, 
one for each month of the year, but only six (March to August) 
w ere completed. 

(3) The third period begins with Ovid's banishment to Tomi in 
Scythia, in 9 a.d. The cause of this banishment is one of those 
historical mysteries which can never be decided with certainty. 
The poefc himself only ventures on dark hints. He mentions " a 
poem and an error " {carmen ei error) as the two charges which led 
to his fate. He also says that his eyes were to blame {cur noxia 
lumina feci?). The poem probably refers to his licentious Ars 
amatoria which was so opposed in spirit to the attempts at social' 
reform made by the framer of the Julian Laws. But the true cause 
must have been the mysterious error. It has been conjectured, 
with considerable probability, that Ovid had witnessed some act ot 
misconduct on the part of a member of the Emperor's family, and 
was punished for not having prevented it. This may have been 
connected with the adultery of the younger Julia and D. Silanus. 
The poet perhaps was made the scapegoat. In his exile on the 
shores of the Euxine,* he composed the letters ex Ponto (in four 
Books), and the Tristia (in five Books), in which he laments his 
fate and implores to be forgiven ; the Jbis, a bitter attack on some 
anonymous enemy, on the model of a poem which Callimachus 
wrote against Apollonius of Rhodes ; and an unfinished poem on 
fishing (Halieutica). He also wrote a Getic poem in honour of 
Augustus. But neither Augustus nor his successor Tiberius re- 
voked the sentence of the unhappy poet, and Ovid died at Tomi 
in 17 a.Di 

In handling the elegiac metre, Ovid bound himself by stricter 
rules than his predecessors. . He had wonderful facility in versi- 
fication, but he was more of a rhetorician than a poet, and he is 
most successful where rhetoric tells, as in the Heroides. He lived in 
ease and luxury, and rejoiced that he lived in the age of Augustus, 
when life went smoothly (haze setas morilms apta meis). His love- 
poetry was distinguished by lubricity ; and in this he contrasted 
unfavourably with Tibullus and Propertius. The tragedy of Medea^ 
which he composed in his early period, is not extant; but it and 
the Thyestes of Yarius were the two illustrious tragedies of the day. 
Two poems, Nux, an elegy, and the Consolatio ad Liviamrf were 

* See above, Chap VI. $ 12, for Ovid's | f See above, Chap. IX. $ 6. 
description of life at Tomi. 

Chap. xi. LIVY. 159 

falsely ascribed to Ovid, but were probably written by some 
contemporary of inferior talent. 

Among the friends of Ovid, who were likewise poets, may be 
mentioned Sabinus who wrote answers to the Heroides ; Ponticus, 
author of a Thebaid; Cornelius Severus, who treated the Sicilian 
war with Sextus Pompeius in verse. The " starry " Albinovanus 
Pedo,* wrote a Theseid, and also an epic on contemporary history. 

§ 6. The Georgics of Virgil and the Halieutics of Ovid belong to 
the kind of poetry known as didactic. Other works of this class 
are the Cynegetica of Grattius, on the art of hunting ; and the 
Astronomica of Manilius, in five Books. Of the author of this 
astronomical poem we know nothing, even his name is uncertain, 
but he possessed poetical facility of no mean order, and considerable 

Most of the short occasional pieces, of a light and humorous 
nature, which were collected under the title of Priapea, belong to 
the Augustan age, and many of them to the best poets. 

Sect. II. — Latin Prose-writers. 

§ 7. The History of Rome by Titus Livius (59 b.c-17 a.d.) 
stands out as the greatest prose work of the Augustan period. Livy 
was born at Patavium, and a certain Patavinity has been remarked 
in his diction. But most of his life was spent at Rome, where he 
studied rhetoric, wrote philosophical dialogues, and enjoyed the 
friendship of Augustus. He began his history (Ab urbe condita 
libri was the title) soon after the foundation of the Em j are, and 
carried it down as far as the death of Drusus (9 B.C.). The work 
consisted of 142 Books in all, originally distributed in decads and 
half-decads, which appeared separately, according as they were 
completed. But only 35 Books have been preserved to us, namely 
B. 1-10 and B. 21-45. We have, however, short epitomes of the 
contents of almost all the lost Books. 

Livy was a mild and amiable man, who held no extreme views, 
liked compromise and conciliation, hated violence and turbulence, 
and could be indulgent to men of all parties. This fair and equable 
temper can be traced in his history ; the one thing which is un- 
pardonable in his eyes is harsh fanaticism. Ancient Rome is his 
ideal ; and he regards his own age as degenerate, destitute of the 
virtues, sim plicity, and piety which made the old time so great. His 
heroes are Cincinnatus, Camillus, Fabius the Delayer. This general 

* Sidereusque Pedo (Ovid, Pont., iv. 16. I another poet of the day, Albinovanus 
6.).. He must not be confounded with J Celsus, mentioned by Horace. 


view of the course of Roman history he states in strong language 
in the general preface to his work. He invites his readers to learn 
by what men and by what policy at home and abroad the empire 
of Rome was won and increased, then to follow the gradual decline 
of discipline and morals, then witness that decline becoming mere 
and more marked, and ending in a headlong downward rush, until 
his own times are reached " in which we cannot endure our vices 
nor submit to remedies." We cannot doubt his honesty as a 
historian ; but his views of writing history were such that his 
statements must often be received with caution. For though he 
wished to tell the truth, he cared much more for style than for 
facts. He had little idea of historical method, or of historical 
research. He gave himself no trouble to ascertain the truth in 
doubtful cases. For the early history he simply worked up into 
an artistic form the narratives of Polybius and of late Roman 
annalists, especially Yalerius of Antium ; and did not exert himself 
to consult all the available sources, or even the best. His knowledge 
of constitutional matters was unsound ; nor was he at home in 
military history. He approached his subject rather as a rheto- 
rician than as a historian ; and as a literary work his history takes 
rank among the great histories of the world. His style was prolix. 
Ancient critics observed that he used more words than were 
necessary, and his "abundance" (lactea ubertas) was contrasted 
with the conciseness of Sal lust. 

Pompeius Trogus wrote a universal history in forty-four books, 
beginning with the Assyrian Ninus, and ending with his own time. 
It was entitled Historic Philippicse. The original work has not 
come down to us, but in a later age it was abbreviated by a certain 
Justinus, and this abridgment is extant. Other historians of the 
Augustan period were L. Arruntius, who wrote an account of the 
Punic war in the style of SaUust, and Fenestella, an antiquarian, 
who, in his Annates, paid special attention to social and constitu- 
lional history. 

§ 8. C. Julius Hygisus, a freedman of Augustus and librarian of 
the Palatine Library, was an interesting figure in the literary history 
of his time. He may be regarded as the successor of Varro, as an 
antiquarian and polymath. He wrote on the cities of Italy (de situ. 
urbium Italicarum), on illustrious Romans (de viris claris), on 
agriculture ; also a commentary on Yirgil. All these books are 
lost, but a mythological (FabuJce) and an astronomical work have 
come down under his name, and perhaps are really his. 

Of other antiquarians, many of whose names we know, must be 
mentioned M. Yerrius Flaccus, who wrote a book on the Calendar 
(Fasti), and an important lexicographical work entitled de verborum 

Chap. xi. GKEEK LITEKATURE. 161 

significatu * Most valuable, as the only work of the kind that 
has been preserved, is the treatise of Vitkuvius Pollio, Be Archi- 
tecture in ten books. It was dedicated to Augustus and finished 
before 13 B.C. 

Of the many philosophers, rhetors and orators, who talked and 
wrote at this period, there is none of any interest to posterity. 
Among philosophical writers may be mentioned Q. Sextius Niger, 
and his son of the same name ; among the rhetors M. Porcius 
Latro. of whose declamations some extracts are preserved; and 
among orators, the fluent Haterius, the rabid Labienus,f the biting 
Cassius Severus. The two great jurists of the Augustan age were 
M. Antistius Labeo (59 b.c-12 a.d.), and his younger rival C. 
Ateius Capito (34 b.c-22 a.d.), who founded schools afterwards 
known as the Proculian and Sabinian respectively. 

Sect. III. — Greek Literature. 

§ 9. From the year 146 B.C. forward, Greek literature begins to 
hold a place in Roman history along with the advance of Koman 
sway over the Greek world. By the time of Augustus nearly all 
the Greeks of Europe, Asia, and Egypt have become either im- 
mediate or federate subjects of Pome. Their literature, therefore, 
on this ground claims the attention of the student of Poman 
history; but still more because many Greek writers busied them- 
selves with the history and antiquities of their new mistress. 
Polybius is the first and most famous example of a Greek writing 
Roman history ; but under the Empire Greek books on Poman 
subjects are numerous. 

DiONYSirrs of Halicarnassus came to Pome soon after the battle 
of Actium and lived there for more than twenty years, studying 
Latin literature and writing in his own language on Latin subjects. 
While he was at Rome he associated with men of the senatorial 
class, and his writings are animated with republican sentiments. 
He continued the work of Polybius in endeavouring to reconcile his 
countrymen to Roman sway. Polybius had expounded the role 
which Rome was destined to play in history ; Dionysius is con- 
cerned to show that she was worthy to play it. In his work on 
"Roman Archasology," which he finished in 8 B.C., he seeks to 
prove, by tracing out mythical connection between Pome and 
Greece, that the Romans were not really u barbarians." It was a 

* Not extant, but partly preserved 
through the copious extracts of Festus. 
+ He was nicknamed rabies, from his 

promiscuous attacks on all sorts and con- 
ditions of men. 


mark of gratitude for the kind treatment which he experienced at 
Rome. This work consisted of twenty Books, but only the first 
eleven are preserved entire. The style is wordy and rhetorical, 
very unlike that of Polybius. He used good sources ; but he has 
no appreciation of the meaning or methods of history ; he even 
puts long rhetorical speeches into the mouths of legendary persons. 
He defines history as " philosophy by examples." In questions of 
literary criticism, however, he is quite at home ; and his various 
literary treatises, in which he shows thorough appreciation of the 
old masters, are of considerable value.* 

More interesting in some ways than the literary treatise of 
Dionysius is that of a certain Longinus — of whom personally 
nothing is known — " on the sublime " (or more correctly " on 
loftiness of style "),f which seems to have been written in the 
early years of the first century a d. It contains much enlightened 
and suggestive criticism. The author had some acquaintance with 
the Hebrew scriptures. 

Nicolaus of Damascus (born about 64 b.c.) was a great friend of 
King Herod, whom he assisted in his work of Hellenism.' He had 
been the teacher of the children of Antony and Cleopatra. He was 
a very prolific author, and wrote on philosophical, rhetorical and 
historical subjects. His greatest work was a universal history, 
planned on a very large "scale, which Herod stimulated him to 
compose. Of it we have only fragments. But his panegyrical life 
of Cassar (Augustus), a declamatory rather than historical work, 
has come down to ns complete. 

The long Geographica of Strabo (63 b.c.-23 a.d.), in seventeen 
Books, is of great historical importance as giving a picture of some 
of the subject lands of Rome in the Augustan age. Strabo was of 
a good Cappadocian family, a native of Amasea, and lived at Alex- 
andria. He came to Rome about the same time as Dionysius, but 
soon left it. He describes the whole known world, but in many 
cases his information was mainly derived from older books, and 
cannot be taken as representing the condition of things which pre- 
vailed in his own time. Books i and ii. deal with physical geography, 
Books iii. to x. describe Europe, Books xi. to xvi. Asia, Book xvii. 
Africa. His accounts of Asia Minor and Egypt are especially valuable, 
as he knew these lands himself and mentions many of his own 
experiences. His description of Spain is also valuable ; for though 

* "Handbook to Rhetoric," (rexvr) 
p-qropiK-q) in 11 parts ; " On the Composi- 
tion of Words" (in reference to aesthetic 
effect) ; " Criticism of the Ancients (an 
extract from a larger work " On Imita- 

tion ") ; Essays on the Style of Demos- 
thenes, on Thucydides, &c. 

f ITept vv/zous. There is considerable 
uncertainty about the name and the date 
of the author. 

Chap. xi. GREEK LITERATURE. 163 

he had not been there, he had evidently received recent infor- 
mation about it, probably at Rome. From Strabo's work we 
get a very distinct impression of the blessings of the Pax Augusta 
and the safety which travellers now enjoyed both by sea and land. 
He also wrote a work entitled " Historical Memoirs," in over forty 
Rooks,* but it has not been preserved. 

* 'YnofJLvriiJLaTa. loropiKa. 

Digentia, Horace's Sabine Farm. 




§ 1. Position of Tiberius at death of Augustus. Possible rivals. His 
accession. § 2. Deification of Augustus. Will of Augustus. § 3. 
Mutinies of armies in Germany and Pannonia suppressed by Ger- 
manicus and Drusus. §t 4. Position and designs of Germanicus. 
§ 5. His campaign in 14 a.d, against the Marsi. § 6. Two 
campaigns in 15 a.d. against the Cherusci. Ill-luck of the Romans 
in returning. § 7. Great campaign of 16 a.d. Its description by 
Tacitus. Battle of Idistaviso. § 8. Small result of the campaigns 
of Germanicus. His recall by Tiberius. Germany abandoned. § 9. 
Triumph of Germanicus. § 10. Drusus in Illyricum. The Suevians. 
Maroboduus deposed retires to Ravenna. End of Arminius. § 11. 
Germanicus sent to the East. The Armenian question. § 12. Hos- 
tility of Cn. Piso. Death of Germanicus. § 13. Insubordination of 
Piso. The attitude of Tiberius. § 14. Trial and death of Piso. § 15. 
Tacitus on Germanicus and Tiberius. § 16. Conspiracy of Libo Drusus. 
§ 17. War in Africa against Tacfarinas. Campaigns of Blsesus and 
Dolabella. § 18. Rebellion in Gaul. Florus and Sacrovir. § 19. 
Risings in Thrace suppressed by Poppgeus Sabinus. § 20. War with 
the Frisians. § 21. A Servile War averted. 

Sect. I. — Accession of Tiberius. 

§ 1. It was generally regarded as a matter of course that Tiberius 
should step into the place of Augustus. The Roman world did not 
dream of a revolution ; and it was felt that the monarchy naturally 
fell to him, who stood in the same relation to the now divine 
Augustus as Augustus himself to the divine Julius. Men uni- 
versally acquiesced in the succession of Tiberius as the heir, the 

14-37 a.d. ACCESSION OF TIBERIUS. 165 

adopted son, the chosen consort of the deceased Emperor. But 
though such feelings moved men's minds, constitutionally the 
Empire was elective, not hereditary ; and the senate and the people 
could, without infringing the constitution, have conferred the 
Principate on someone wholly unconnected with the Julian family. 
Augustus had himself named three nobles who might possibly 
compete with Tiberius : Lepidus, who was " equal to the position, 
but despised it ; " Asinius Gallus, who " might desire it, but was 
unequal to it ; " and Arruntius, who " was not unworthy of it and 
would dare to seek it, if a chance were offered." But even from 
Arruntius, Tiberius had nothing to fear ; the only possible rivals 
seemed to be his own kinsmen, his nephew Germanic us, who was 
absent in Gaul, and Agrippa Postumus, who still pined in the island 
to which his grandfather had banished him. The unlucky Agrippa 
was slain by his gaoler immediately after the death of Augustus ; 
and there can be no doubt that the order for his execution was 
given either by Tiberius or by Livia. 

When the death of Augustus was announced, Tiberius by virtue 
of the tribunician power which he had received in the preceding 
year for an indefinite period, convoked the senate. He had already 
given the watchword to the praetorian cohorts and sent despatches 
to the legions, as if he were formally Emperor. It is not quite 
clear whether this was formally an act of usuq ation. For it 
might have been held that the proconsular imperium, which 
Tiberius possessed before the death of Augustus, having been 
bestowed by a decree of the senate and not being merely d: rived 
from the imperium of the Princeps, did not cease on the death of 
the Princeps. In any case, the act seemed an anticipation of his 
election to the Principate, and Tiberius afterwards made a sort of 
apology for it to the senate. But senate and people, consuls and 
prefects, took an oath of obedience to him without a sign of 
hesitation. The proconsular imperium was renewed or confirmed, 
and the various rights, which had been granted to Augustus by 
separate enactments, were conferred upon him, doubtless by a 
single comprehensive law (lex de imperio). Tiberius indeed, 
adopting the maxims of statecraft, which he had learned from 
his predecessor, feigned reluctance to assume the immense task of 
directing such a vast Empire, and suggested that the functions 
of government should be divided among more than one ruler. 
But it was easily seen that the suggestion was not intended 
seriously. It was part of the transparent comedy, which was 
played henceforward between the senate and the Princeps. It is 
important to observe that the practice adopted by Augustus of 
assuming the Empire for a defined period of years was now 


abandoned. On the other hand, Tiberius would cot assume it for 
life. No term was fixed ; but he intimated his intention of 
resigning the Principate when the state no longer needed him. 
Here again no one took his words as seriously meant. 

§ 2. The first care of Tiberius was the funeral and deification of 
Augustus. The dead body was borne by senators to the Campus 
Martins, where it was burnt and the ashes were bestowed in the 
imperial Mausoleum. Funeral orations were pronounced both by 
Tiberius and by his son Drusus. The senate decreed temples and 
priests to the divus Augustus, who was thus raised to a place beside 
his father, the divus Julius. His will, which had been deposited 
in the charge of the Vestal Virgins, was read before the senate and 
thus published abroad. It bequeathed two-thirds of his fortune to 
Tiberius, and the remainder to Livia, who was to be adopted into 
the Julian family and bear the name Augusta. If these heirs 
failed, one-third of the property was to descend to Drusus, the son 
of Tiberius, and the remainder to Germanicus and his three sons. 
But these legacies were considerably diminished by the large 
donations which were left to the citizens and to the praetorian and 
legionary soldiers. Along with his fortune, the old Emperor 
bequeathed (in his Breviarium Imperii) some counsels of 
government. He deprecated the admission of provincials to the 
privileged position of Roman citizens ; he condemned the further 
extension of the frontiers of Roman dominion; and he advised 
that as many men of ability as possible should be engaged in the 
administration of public affairs. It seems probable that the second 
of these counsels specially regarded the conquest of trans-Rhenane 
Germany, and we shall see how Tiberius acted on it. 

Sect. II. — Germanicus on the Rhine. 

§ 3. The first weeks of the reign of Tiberius were disturbed by 
mutinies in the Rhine and Danube armies. Discontent had long 
been smouldering, and had only been hindered from bursting forth 
by respect for the old Empeor. The soldiers who defended the 
German frontiers contrasted the hardships which they were obliged 
to endure in harsh climates and remote regions, the small pay 
which they received, the unduly long term of service and the 
inadequate provision awaiting them at its expiration, with the easy 
life and the higher pay of the prastorian guards, who could look 
forward to gifts of land in Italy itself. On the news of the death of 
Augustus, mutinies broke out simultaneously on the Danube and 
on the Rhine. The Pannonian army, consisting of three legions 


under the command of Julius Blsesus, threw off the authority of 
their general, and demanded that their pay should be raised, that 
the term of service should be reduced from twenty to sixteen years, 
and that the veterans should receive their pensions in money. 
Blsesus was forced to send his son to Rome, to bear these demands to 
the new Emperor, and in the meantime the troops vented their pent 
up wrath on the centurions, whom they most detested, and refused 
to perform their military duties. Tiberius despatched some prae- 
torian cohorts under his son Drusus to treat with the mutineers and 
restore order, but sent no definite message of concession. The 
soldiers were enraged when they discovered that Drusus was in- 
structed to evade rather than comply with their demands, and the 
young prince was with difficulty rescued from their fury. But an 
eclipse of the moon opportunely took place ; the superstitious 
soldiers were alarmed, and, seized with a fit of remorse, they 
listened to the indefinite promises of Drusus and returned to their 
allegiance. The ringleaders were given up and put to death. 

The revolt of the Rhine legions was a more serious danger. 
In Pannonia there was no question of setting up a rival emperor ; 
but this danger existed on the Rhine. Germanicus Csesar, 
governor of Gaul and general of the eight legions stationed on the 
German frontier, was marked out as the successor of Tiberius, his 
adoptive father ; and the troops of Lower Germany conceived the 
design of hastening his reign. They not only demanded shorter 
service, higher pay, and lighter labour, but proclaimed their inten- 
tion of carrying Germanicus to Rome, and making him Emperor. 
Germanicus was at the time absent in Lugudimum, occupied with 
the census of Gaul. Aulus Csecina, an experienced officer, was 
in command of the legions of the Lower province, while Upper 
Germany had been assigned to C. Silfus. When the news reached 
Germanicus, he hastened to the camp on the Lower Rhine, which 
lay in the land of the Ubii, and appeared in the presence of the 
mutineers. An exciting scene then took place; the soldiers 
beseeching their popular commander to right their wrongs, 
showing him the marks of their wounds and stripes, finally urging 
him to march to Rome and seize the sovran power ; Germanicus 
expostulating and praising the virtues of Tiberius. The excitement 
reached such a pitch that it was necessary to withdraw the general 
from the presence of the troops. It was a critical moment. The 
mutineers talked of destroying the Town of the Ubii — Oppidum 
Ubiorum — and plundering the cities of Gaul. The German foes 
beyond the Rhine would not fail to take advantage speedily of 
the broken discipline of the army. To restore order, Germanicus 
was forced to concede, in the name of Tiberius, the demands of 


the troops. He promised that the term of service should be 
shortened, and that large donatives should be distributed. The 
legions then returned to their winter-quarters, two under Germanicus 
to Oppidum Ubiorum, the other two under the legatus Aulus 
Casein a to Castra Vetera. But at this moment messengers arrived 
from Rome, for the purpose of investigating the causes of the 
discontent, and when the soldiers saw that the concessions might 
fail to be ratified, the mutiny broke out more furiously than ever. 
Germanicus decided that his wife and children should leave the 
camp. It does not appear that he apprehended any serious danger 
on their account, for no measures were taken to conceal their flight. 
They departed in broad daylight, and in view of the whole camp. 
The sight of Agrippina carrying m her arms the little boy Gaius, 
who had been born and reared in the camp, and whom they had 
nicknamed Caligula " Boots," (from the caligse, or military boots 
which they made him wear in sport) moved their hearts to remorse. 
The memory of her father Agrippa, her grandfather Augustus, her 
father-in-law Drusus, stirred thtir pride; and when they learned 
that her destination was the city of the Treveri, jealousy prompted 
them to make peace with their general. Germanicus seized on the 
propitious moment to work on their softened feelings, and recall 
them to their duty. They fell on their knees before him, begged for 
forgiveness, and zealously delivered their ringleaders to punishment. 
It seems likely that this scene was expressly devised by Germanicus, 
as a last resource for appealing to the nobler sentiments of the 

Thus was the danger averted in the Ubian camp. In Castra 
Vetera, the skilful management of the experienced Cascina restored 
discipline ; while at Moguntiacum the agitators, who tried to stir to 
rebellion the army of the Upper province, seem to have totally failed. 

§ 4* The only peril which threatened the succession of Tiberius 
was thus hindered, and for this he had to thank the unshaken 
fidelity of his nephew. Germanicus had refused to listen when the 
troops tempted him to disloyalty; he declined to take the flood of 
the tide, which might have led him to fortune. If he had marched 
to Rome at the head of the Germanic legions, he would have 
plunged the state once more in civil war, but it is not certain 
that he would have been the survivor. Germanicus was a man 
of considerable ability, and his affable manners and urbanity won 
him friends everywhere. In the camp he associated freely with the 
soldiers, and they idolized him. He had his father's gift of making 
himself popular, but he had not his father's genius. It was his 
dream, however, to restore the work which Drnsus had so brilliantly 
begun, and carry the eagles of Rome once more to the Albis. 


Immediately after the suppression of the mutiny, the young Caesar 
decided to employ the discontented legions, who were themselves 
anxious for active service. Hostilities against the Germans had 
been slumbering for the past few years ; but no treaty had been 
made since the defeat of Varus, so that in making a sudden incur- 
sion the Romans were formally justified. It has been questioned 
whether Germanicus was not exceeding his powers in taking the 
offensive without the express permission of the Emperor. But as he 
had been entrusted by Augustus with his large command for the 
purpose of conducting the war and defending the frontier against the 
Germans, it must clearly have been left to his discretion when he might 
advance and when he should retire. 

§ 5. In the late autumn (14 a.d.) the legions and cohorts of the 
Lower province crossed the Rhine, cut their way through the Silva 
Caesia, and through the rampart which Tiberius had constructed 
after the Varian disaster, as the limes of Roman territory. Thus 
they reached the land of the Marsi, who dwelled between the rivers 
which are now called Lippe and Ruhr. Caecina advanced in front, 
with some light cohorts to reconnoitre and clear the way. It was 
discovered that the Marsi were to spend the night in solemn 
festivities, and when the Romans approached their villages after 
sunset, the inhabitants, unsuspicious and inebriated, offered an 
easy prey. The legions were divided into four " wedges " (cunei) y 
which devastated the country for fifty miles with fire and sword, 
sparing neither sex nor age. The holy places of the Marsi, especially 
the sacred precinct of the deity Tamfana, were levelled with the 

The fate of the Marsi roused to arms the neighbouring tribes, 
the Bructeri, who lived northward, the Tubantes, who dwelled on 
the Rura (Ruhr), and the Usipetes between the Luppia and the 
Mcenus. They stationed themselves in the woods through which the 
Romans had to return ; but the zeal of the legions and the skill of 
the commander shook off the enemy, and the winter-quarters were 
safely reached. 

The revolt on the Lower Rhine had caused serious anxiety at 
Rome, and especially to Tiberius, coming, as it did, in conjunction 
with the mutiny in Pannonia. The Pannonic army was nearer 
Italy; on the other hand the Germanic army was far larger; and 
the Emperor, uncertain in which of the camps his presence was 
more needful, and afraid of giving the preference to either, ended 
by remaining in Rome and watching the issue of events. The 
news that Germanicus had quelled the mutiny was a great relief; 
but it was suspected that the military success which he gained 
in his brief campaign was not so agreeable to Tiberius. If so, the 


Emperor dissembled his jealousy, praised the achievement of his 
nephew in the presence of the senate, and granted him the honour 
of a triumph. 

§ 6. The following year was marked by two distinct invasions 
of Germany, which, however, hung closely together and were parts 
of a common design. Of all the German tribes, the Cherusci, the 
tribe of Arminius, were the most formidable and the most hostile. 
They had been the leaders in the fight for freedom which ended in 
the Varian disaster. Against them above all others policy and 
revenge excited the spirit of Germanicus. His plan was to prevent 
the neighbouring peoples from assisting them and then attack them 
alone. Their most powerful neighbours were the Chatti, and the 
first expedition was directed against them. (1) In the spring 
the four legions of the Lower Rhine crossed the river from Castra 
Vetera under the command of Csecina, who was to prevent the 
tribes in that quarter, especially the Marsi and the Cherusci, 
from marching to aid the Chatti. Carina's army was augmented 
by bands of the cis-Rhenane German tribes — Batavians, Ubii and 
Sugambri. Meanwhile Germanicus himself at the head of the 
four legions of the Upper Rhine advanced into the territory of 
Mount Taunus, and attacked the Chatti so suddenly that no 
serious resistance could be made. Their fortress Mattium was 
destroyed. By this means the Chatti were prevented from making 
common cause with the Cherusci. That people was distracted at 
this time by domestic discords. Segestes was invoking the help of 
the Romans against his enemy and son-in-law Arminius, the hero 
of the Teutoburg Forest. The messengers of Segestes reached 
Germanicus as he was returning to the Rhine, and besought him to 
relieve their master, who was blockaded by his enemies. The 
Roman army retraced their steps, entered the borders of the 
Cherusci, and delivered their ally, who was able, in return, to 
restore some of the spoils of Varus, and hand over some important 
hostages, among these his daughter Thusnelda, the wife of Arminius. 
That warrior, infuriated at the capture of his wife, left nothing 
undone to stir up the passions of his nation, and he succeeded in 
winning over Tnguiomer, an influential noble, who had hitherto 
sided with the Romans. 

(2) Germanicus and Cascina, who had signally defeated the 
Marsi, having returned to the Rhine, prepared for a grand ex- 
pedition against the enemy, conceived on the same plan which 
Drusus had formerly adopted with success. The army was divided 
in three parts. Cascina led his legions through the land of the 
Bructeri to the banks of the upper Amisia; Germanicus and the four 
legions of the Upper province embarked, to coast along the shore of 


the North Sea and enter the river at its mouth ; while the cavalry, 
tinder Pedo Alhinovanus, the poet, marched to the same goal through 
the land of the Frisii. Successfully united, the combined army laid 
waste far and wide the land between the Amisia and the Luppia. 
Here they were near the Saltus Teutoburgiensis, where the remains 
of Varus and his legions lay unburied, and Germanicus could not 
resist the desire of visiting the spot, erecting a mound over the 
white bones, and honouring with funeral rites the slaughtered 
Romans. The lonely and melancholy scene produced a deep 
impression on the legions, but they were soon required to extricate 
themselves from a trap similar to that which had ensnared the 
Varian army. Arminius had hidden his forces in the forest and 
the Romans had not secured themselves .sufficiently against sur- 
prise. But Germanicus and Csecina were more skilful than Varus, 
and though he did not defeat the enemy he retreated to the 
Amisia with some difficulty. The return to the Rhine was not easy. 
The cavalry of Pedo reached their quarters without mischance. 
But the country through which the way of Csecina lay was heavy 
and marshy, and the Germans of Arminius and Inguiomer sought to 
surround him as they had surrounded Varus. The experienced 
Csecina was cool and collected in these perils, and knew how to 
maintain discipline, but he might have failed to extricate his army 
but for a false move of the foe. The Germans had made a success- 
ful attack on the cavalry and baggage of the Romans, and elated 
by their luck proceeded, contrary to the counsels of Arminius, to 
assault the Roman camp. Waiting until they had reached the 
rampart, Csecina suddenly threw open the gates and poured out his 
troops on the besiegers. The Germans suffered a decisive defeat ; 
Inguiomer was severely wounded ; and the Romans were able to 
proceed on their way. A false rumour of their destruction 
had gone before them to Castra Vetera; and it was proposed 
there to break down the Rhine bridge. But the humanity and 
courage of Agrippina saved the means of retreat for the fugitive army. 
She stood at the head of the bridge and would not move until the 
remnant should reach it ; and she was repaid by seeing the arrival 
of the four legions safe and whole. 

The return of Germanicus himself was attended with ill-luck 
and serious losses. He found it necessary to lighten his ships 
amid the shallow waters of the Frisian coast, and disembarked two 
legions, directing them to march along the shore. The treacherous 
equinoctial tides swept away a large number of the soldiers, and 
much of their baggage. On the whole the campaign could hardly 
be regarded as a success. The dangers and losses of the return 
march threw a cloud over the expedition, and Tiberius had some 


reason to murmur at the little results obtained at such expense. The 
advantages won by Germanicus were only momentary ; for he had done 
nothing to effect a permanent occupation of the country which he 
had laid waste. He had built no fort, and established no lines of 
communication. His wisdom in visiting the battlefield of Varus 
was open to question. Tiberius, naturally distrustful, nourished 
some jealousy and perhaps fear of bis popular nephew, and there 
were enemies of Germanicus at Rome who were eager to encourage 
such feelings. But the Emperor had not yet decided to interfere 
with the plans of Germanicus for the subjugation of Germany ; and 
he professed to regard the achievements of the year as worthy of 
a triumph. He seems not to have fully made up his mind yet, 
whether the conquest of Germany was really desirable or its 
permanent occupation possible. 

§ 7. The next, and last campaign of Germanicus (16 a.d.) was 
planned on a larger scale. This' time he hoped to reach the Albis, 
and break the last resistance of the Cherusci. A fleet of one 
thousand ships was collected where the Rhine broadens and 
branches into the Vahalis ; and the whole army embarked and 
sailed down the Fossa Drusiana, where Germanicus invoked the 
spirit and recalled the memory of his father. Before starting he 
had taken the precaution to send his legatus C. Silius to make a 
demonstration against the Chatti, and had himself, with six legions, 
marched up the valley of Luppia, to secure strongholds and make 
provision for the return of his army. The fleet reached the mouth 
of the Amisia safely, and, leaving the ships anchored and guarded, 
the Romans advanced in a south-eastward direction to the banks of 
the Visurgis, where the Germans, prepared for' their coming, had 
concentrated their forces under the leadership of the indefatigable 
Arminius. Here at length the Roman invader and the champion 
of German freedom were to fairly try their strength in a field 
of battle. 

The reserved historian Tacitus rises to the occasion as he 
describes the campaign which decided both the destinies of 
Germany and the fortunes of his hero Germanicus. He embellishes 
his Germaniad with tales which have a ring of legend and throw 
over the young general a halo of romance which his deeds hardly 
deserved. The colloquy of Arminius and his renegade brother 
Flavus, standing on the opposite banks of the Yisurgis, is, if not 
true, well imagined. Flavus had lost an eye in the service of the 
Romans, and Arminius, when he had inquired and learned the 
cause of the disfigurement, asked, "What was thy reward?" "I 
received," said Flavus, " increase of pay, a gold chain and crown, 
and other military distinctions." " Vile badges of slavery," sneered 


his brother. Flavus continued to praise the greatness of Rome 
and the Emperor, while Arminius appealed to ancestral freedom, 
and the national gods of Germany. At length such bitter words 
were bandied, and the wrath of the brothers rose so high, that they 
were about to plunge into the stream and grip each other in 
mortal struggle ; but the Romans intervened and dragged Flavus 
from the bank. The night-adventure of Germanicus has the same 
epic flavour as the converse of trie German brethren. The Romans 
crossed the Visurgis in the face of the enemy, who had retreated 
into the recesses of a sacred wood, and news was brought that 
Arminius contemplated a night-attack on the Roman camp. Tacitus 
tells us how Germanicus (like our own Henry V.) was seized with 
a desire to ascertain the spirit of his soldiers, and how, for this 
purpose, he disguised himself, and, with a skin over his shoulders 
attended by one companion, he went round the camp and listened 
near the tents. He was pleased to hear his own praises loudly 
sung and to observe that the men were eager to punish the " per- 
fidious" foe. As he traversed the camp a German horseman rode 
up to the rampart and in the Latin tongue invited deserters in the 
name of Arminius, with promises of lands, wives, and a daily sum 
of money. Scornful was the answer : " Let the day break, let 
battle begin ; we will ourselves seize your wives and lands." 

The battle was fought in the plain of Idistaviso, which probably 
lies to the south of the Porta Westfalica on the right bank of the 
Visurgis. The Hermans had occupied the lower slopes of the 
mountains, and were protected in the rear by a wood, unencumbered 
with brushwood, and thus offering an easy retreat. The Cherusci 
placed themselves on the higher hills, intending to rush down upon 
the Romans in the midst of the battle. While the legions and 
auxiliaries advanced to attack the German position in the open 
plain, Germanicus sent a body of cavalry round to out-flank the 
enemy and fall on their rear. This movement was completely 
successful. The German forces which were stationed in the wood 
were driven out of their cover into the plain, while at the same 
time the ranks which were drawn up in the plain were beaten back 
before the onset of the legions into the wood. The confusion was 
increased by the Cherusci, who were forced by the attack of the 
cavalry to descend Irom the hills into the midst of the battle. 
Arminius essayed bravely to sustain the fight, but he and his 
fellows were surrounded by the Roman forces, and their doom 
seemed sealed. Arminius, however, and Inguiomer managed to 
escape, perhaps owing to the treachery of some German auxiliaries ; 
the rest were slain. 

This decisive victory was gained by the Romans without any 


serious loss. The soldiers saluted Tiberius as " Imperator,* and 
erected a trophy of the arms of the enemy, subscribing the names 
of the conquered nations. The defeated and dejected Germans 
were, it is said, preparing to cross the Albis, and leave their country 
to the victor, but this trophy excited their rage, and decided them to 
make another desperate attempt. It may be suspected, however, 
that the battle of Idistaviso was less decisive than it has been 
represented. In any case, the enemy once more collected large 
forces, and occupied a place protected by woods and a deep swamp, 
and on one side by an old rampart. But Germanicus discovered their 
position, aud did not fall into the trap. He attacked them on the 
side of the earthwork, and forced his way into the small space in 
which they were thickly packed together. Their position was 
desperate. If they retreated, they must perish in the marsh ; and 
with their long swords they could sustain no equal combat with the 
legions at such close quarters. Germanicus, it is said, was in the 
thickest of the fray, crying that the Germans must be exterminated. 
But the barbarians fought well ; Arminius escaped ; and the cavalry 
engagement was indecisive. At nightfall the Romans returned to 
their camp, victorious indeed, but without having exterminated or 
routed the foe. The Angrivarii were the only tribe who sued for 
peace. Germanicus erected a second trophy, which told how the 
army of Tiberius Caesar, having subdued all the nations between 
the Rhine and the Albis, dedicated this monument to Mars, and 
Jupiter, and Augustus. 

It was now the middle of summer, and Germanicus, notwith- 
standing his successes, resolved to retrace his steps. Some of the 
legions returned by land, others by sea on the ships which awaited 
them at the mouth of the Amisia. The voyage was disastrous, 
owing to violent gales which agitate the North Sea in the autumn 
season ; the fleet was scattered, and Germanicus himself wrecked 
on the shore of the Chauci. The losses, however, were not so 
great as was at first thought, and on his return to the Rhine some 
successes gained against the Marsi and Chatti partly restored the 
spirits of the troops, which the sea disaster had damped ; and the 
last of the captured eagles of Varus were recovered. 

§ 8. Germanicus deemed that he was now near the goal of his 
ambition. One more campaign would suffice, he thought, for the 
complete subjugation of Germany. But destiny decreed, and 
Tiberius judged, otherwise. It is clear enough that the victories of 
the last campaign were far less important and complete than 
Tacitus has tried to make them out. Their results were only 
temporary, and the Emperor, perhaps wisely, decided that no 
abiding result was likely to be achieved by Germanicus. There 


was indeed reason for disappointment ; nothing had been accom- 
plished in proportion to the magnitude of the expeditions. 
Accordingly Tiberius offered the consulship to his nephew, and this 
was equivalent to a recall. How far the sovran was influenced by 
a lurking jealousy of the 'popular general, how far he deemed it 
inexpedient that the close connection between German icus and the 
Rhine army should continue, we cannot say. But it is only fair to 
point out that the recall of Germanicus can be completely explained 
by political considerations, without taking into account any personal 
motives. Tiberius may have come to the conclusion that annual 
invasions of Germany were too. slow and costly a method of winning 
the new province, even though it were certain that this method 
must ultimately succeed. A different policy was suggested by the 
intestine feuds of the barbarians. If the Romans retired from the 
field a deadly contest must soon take place between the Saxon and 
the Suevian tribes ; and when the enemy had enfeebled themselves 
in domestic war, the Romans might step in and take possession of 
their country. This was a plausible policy, and was perhaps 
seriously entertained by Tiberius. But it is possible that he had 
really come to regard the advance to the Albis as a visionary idea 
which it would not be expedient to realise. If the Rhine troops 
changed their station to the banks of the Albis, would not another 
army be required to -watch Gaul, and would the state be able to 
support another army ? These were the questions which a states- 
man had to consider ; and they may have decided Tiberius, as they 
seem to have decided Augustus, that the Rhine was roughly the 
limit. In any case, financial considerations had probably much to 
do with the disappointment of the dreams of Germanicus. 

From the year 17 a.d. forward we never find one man uniting 
under his single authority both the government of the Gallic 
provinces and the command of the Germanic armies. Henceforward 
the three provinces of Gaul are administered by three prastorian 
governors ; and the two frontier districts, Upper and Lower Germany, 
are kept strictly separate under two consular legati, who are always 
(up to the time of Hadrian) strictly military commanders (legati 
exercitus inferioris et superioris), not legati provincial, though 
often loosely spoken of as such. The financial administration of 
these military districts was at first combined with that of Belgica 
(like that of Numidia with Africa). It is to be observed that for 
many years yet the province of Lower Germany extended bej ond 
the Rhine and as far as the Lower Amisia. 

§ 9. The young general celebrated a brilliant triumph (26 May, 
17 a.d.) over the conquered nations between the Rhine and Albis. 
Thusnelda, the wife of Arminius, with her infant son Thumelicus, 


whom she had borne in captivity, was among the captives who 
adorned the procession. 

It is said that in the midst of the festivities people felt a gloomy 
presentiment, comparing the young Caesar with his father Drusus 
and his uncle Marcellus, who, like him, had been so popular, but 
had died so early. " Brief and unlucky," they said, " have been the 
loves of the Roman people." 

§ 10. After his triumph Germanicus was appointed to an 
honourable mission in the east. At the same time his cousin 
Drusus was sent to Illyricum, to observe the course of affairs in 
northern Europe. Arminius and his Cherusci, with their Saxon 
federates, having no longer to oppose the invasions of the Romans, 
hastened to deal with the Suevian state in the south, over which 
Maroboduus held sway with the title of king. It will be re- 
membered that this chief had refused to join Arminius after the 
defeat of Varus. He was an admirer of Roman civilisation, having 
spent part of his youth in Rome, and he tried to introduce Roman 
manners and government among his countrymen. Throughout the 
struggle for freedom he had remained persistently neutral. The 
centre of his power and his palace lay in Boio-hasmum, but he was 
recognized as the head of a large and loose Suevic confederacy. 
Of these tribes, the Semnones and Langobardi deserted his cause on 
the first attack of the Cherusci. On the other hand, the Cheruscan 
Inguiomer went over to Maroboduus. A decisive battle was fought, 
in which the Suevians were defeated, and many more of his allies 
deserted the Suevic king, who then applied for aid to the Roman 
Emperor. Tiberius immediately sent Drusus to confirm peace, 
perhaps really to effect the downfall of Maroboduus. The unlucky 
king was finally overthrown and driven from his realm by Catualda, 
chief of the Gotones, a people who lived on the lower Vistula. They 
invaded the land of the Marcomanni, and stormed the town and 
stronghold of Maroboduus, who was forcel to flee to the refuge of 
the Empire nnd throw himself on the Emperor's mercy. Ravenna 
was assigned to him as a dwelling-place, where Thusnelda and her 
son had been also doomed to live. It was a curious historical 
coincidence that the city of the marshes, which was destined five 
centuries later to be the capital of the great German hero, the 
Ostrogothic king Theodoric, should have been selected as the 
habitation of Maroboduus, his predecessor in attempting to 
spread Roman ideas among his countrymen. Maroboduus lived 
eighteen years at Ravenna, vainly expecting to be restored 
to power. He had the satisfaction to see Catualda overthrown 
and like himself seeking a refuge from the Romans. He had 
the satisfaction to see his younger rival Arminius succumb to 

17 a.d. EASTERN AFFAIRS. 177 

the guile of a domestic enemy (21 a.d.). After the defeat of the 
Suevians, the hero of Germany had been false himself to the 
freedom for which he had fought, and tried to establish a monarchical 
power. He was " undoubtedly," says the Roman historian,* " the 
deliverer of Germany, and not one of those who attacked the Roman 
people in the beginning of its power, but when it was at the height 
of its prosperity. He lost battles, but in war he was unconquered. 
He died at the age of thirty-seven, in the twelfth year of his power, 
and he is still sung among the barbarians, although to the annals 
of the Greeks he is unknown, and among the Romans not as 
celebrated as he deserves." 

Sect. III. — Gekmanicus in the East. His Death, and the 
Teial of Piso. 

§ 11. In the East several affairs demanded the attention of the 
government, but not so imperatively as to require an extraordinary 
command like that which Tiberius assigned to Germanicus after his 
triumph. The dependent principalities of Cappadocia, Commagene 
and Cilicia Aspera had to be transformed into provinces ; for 
Archelaus of Cappadocia had been recalled to Rome, and informed 
that he had ceased to reign, while the peoples of Commagene and 
Cilicia had, on the death of their princes, begged for a direct Roman 
government. The inhabitants of Judea and Syria were murmuring 
loudly at the heavy taxation, and demanding a reduction. New 
difficulties had also arisen with the Parthian kingdom. Yonones, a 
son of Phraates IV., who had been kept by Augustus as a hostage 
and brought up at Rome, was elected to the throne by the Parthians 
after the death of their king. He did not, however, reign long ; his 
Roman manners gave offence ; and he was forced to surrender his 
throne to Artabanus of Media, and fly to Seleucia. The Armenian 
throne was at this moment vacant, and the people accepted the 
fugitive Vonones as their sovran; but Artabanus, who could not 
endure the rule of his rival in a neighbouring kingdom, called upon 
them to surrender him. Meanwhile Silanus, legatus of Syria, got 
possession of the person of Yonones and detained him in Syria. All 
these affairs might have been arranged by ordinary imperial legati ; 
but Tiberius may have had good reason for sending a near kinsman 
and a Cassar, invested with special powers and representing the 
imperial majest}^, to deal with Eastern countries, where pomp 
always produces its effect. Such a plan had been successful before, 
when Gaius Cassar received a like mission from Augustus. 

The sphere of the command of Germanicus was all the provinces 

* Tacitus, Ann., ii. 88. 



beyond the Hellespont. He travelled thither at leisurely speed' 
visiting Nicopolis, Athens, and Lesbos on his way, and lingering in 
the cities of the Hellespont. TTie affairs of Armenia he arranged 
without difficulty, and established friendly relations with the 
Parthian king. The favour of the Armenians inclined to Zeno, son 
of Polemo, former king of Pontus, who had been brought up as an 
Armenian from his infancy, and was popular by his excellence as a 
huntsman and a trencherman. Germanicus visited the city of 
Artaxata, and solemnly crowned Zeno there under the royal name of 
Artaxes. This arrangement also satisfied Artabanus, who regarded 
Vonones as the Roman candidate and had put forward his own son 
Orodes as the Parthian candidate. The election of Artaxes was a 
satisfactory compromise, and Artabanus sent a courteous message to 
the Roman general, proposing a personal meeting on the Euphrates, 
and only requiring him to remove Yonones from Syria, so as to 
prevent communications with the disaffected party in Persia. 
Germanicus readily acceded to the request, and Vonones was 
removed to Pompeiopolis in Cilicia. Thus excellent relations were 
established between the Roman and the Parthian powers, and 
continued to exist during the lifetime of Artaxes, until the last 
years of the reign of Tiberius. Cappadocia and Commagene were 
at the same time incorporated in the provincial system, and thus 
the direct rule of Rome extended now to the Euphrates. 

§ 12. Germanicus had speedily and satisfactorily accomplished 
the main object of his mission, but he had other difficulties to 
contend with. It was not the intention of Tiberius that the ample 
authority of the young Csesar should be as completely unchecked 
in the east as it had been in the north. Consequently Silanus, 
who was a personal friend of Germanicus, was replaced as proconsul 
of Syria by Cn. Calpurnius Pi so, a proud, self-asserting nobleman, 
who would not hesitate to hold his own against his superior. The 
position of Piso was strengthened, and his independent spirit 
encouraged by the bonds of intimacy which existed between his 
wife Plancina and the Emperor's mother Livia. The dissensions 
of Piso and Germanicus were doubtless embittered by the rivalry of 
Plancina and Agrippina. Piso had been instructed to lead or send 
a portion of the Syrian army to join Germanicus in Armenia. He 
disobeyed this command, and the ill-feeling between the Cassar and 
the legatus became very bitter. It is not clear why Germanicus 
did not invoke the intervention of the Emperor. But instead of 
asserting his authority in Syria, he made an excursion to Egypt, 
not for any political purpose, but from a curiosity to visit the 
antiquities of the land. This expedition was imprudent in two 
ways ; for it left the field clear to Piso, and it violated the law of 


Augustus, that no senator should set foot on Egyptian soil, without 
the express permission of the Emperor. On returning to Syria, 
Germanicus found that Piso had disregarded and overthrown his 
own regulations. This discovery roused him into asserting his 
authority, and Piso prepared to leave the province. Suddenly, 
Germanicus fell ill at Antioch, and Piso postponed his departure. 
The attendants of Germanicus suspected and circulated their 
suspicions, that poison had been administered to him by Piso or 
his wife. Messages enquiring after the health of the prince 
arrived from Piso, who was lingering at Seleucia ; but Germanicus, 
distrustful of their genuineness, wrote a letter to the governor, 
renouncing his friendship, and commanding him, perhaps, to leave 
the province. Piso sailed to Cos, and there received the news of his 
rival's death (19 a.d.). Germanicus himself believed that he was 
the victim of foul play, for on his deathbed he charged his friends 
to prosecute Piso and Plancina. And his friends determined that 
he should be avenged. Agrippina, with her children and the ashes 
of her husband, immediately set sail for Rome. 

§ 13. The staff of the dead prince chose Cn. Sentius Saturninus 
to take charge of Syria, until a new governor should be appointed. 
Piso however determined to make a bold attempt to resume his 
command in that province, and for this purpose collected some 
troops in Cilicia. But Sentius was victorious in an engagement, anl 
besieged Piso in the Cilician fortress of Celenderis. The ex-governor 
was finally forced to submit and take ship for Rome, where an 
unpleasant reception awaited him 

The feelings of sympathy awakened by the death of Germanicrs 
were intense, both in the provinces and at Rome. Triumphal arches 
were erected in his honour, and his statues were set up in cities. 
Inscriptions recorded that he had " died for the republic.'' Corre- 
spondingly bitter was the rage felt against Piso and Plancina, who 
were generally believed to have been guilty. Nor were there 
wanting hints and murmurs that Tiberius himself and Livia were 
privy to the supposed crime of Piso and Plancina. It was thought 
that Tiberius regarded his nephew with jealousy and hatred, and 
rejoiced at his death; and it was apparently this idea that en- 
couraged Piso to act as he had done. The reserve of Tiberius in 
regard to the funeral ceremonies of Germanicus, at which he and 
Livia were not present, was interpreted in the same way, and the 
Emperor even went so far as to show displeasure at the excess of 
the public lamentations. He issued a characteristic edict, enjoining 
on the people to observe some moderation in their sorrow. " Princes 
are mortal, the republic is eternal. Resume your business ; resume 
your pleasures " — he added, for the Megalesian games approached. 


By this contempt for popular sentiment Tiberius, it has been 
remarked, was " sowing the seeds of a long and deep misunder- 
standing between himself and his people." Men contrasted the 
behaviour of Augustus on the death of Drusus. 

§ 14. But the Emperor had no intention of protecting Piso, who 
had been guilty of the serious offence of trying to recover a province 
from which he had been dismissed by a superior in authority. 
The friends of Germanicus vied in undertaking the prosecution, 
but it was hard to find advocates to plead the cause of Piso. His 
friends wished the accused to come before the tribunal of ftie 
Emperor, but Tiberius did not like to undertake the decision of such 
a delicate case, and he referred the judgment of it to the senate. 
He opened the proceedings in the senate-house in a very impartial 
speech. The charges of political misconduct were clearly proven, 
but the charge of having made attempts on the life of Germanicus 
by magic and poison broke down. The senators, however, who 
in general sympathised with Germanicus, felt convinced that the 
prince's death had been due to foul play, while the political offences 
of the culprit weighed with Tiberius. At the close of the second 
day of the trial, Piso saw in the cold look of the Emperor that his 
doom was fixed. His conclusion was confirmed by the behaviour ot 
his wife Plancina, who had pleaded for him with the Empress Livia, 
but, as his chances of escape seemed to grow less, tried to sever 
her own cause from his. He anticipated the sentence by piercing 
his throat with his sword. The senate expunged his name from 
the Fasti, and banished his eldest son for ten years; but Tiberius 
interfered to mitigate the sentence of the senate, and conceded Piso's 
property to his son. The influence of Livia shielded Plancina from 

Thus ended a domestic tragedy. It must be observed that even 
if it were certain that Germanicus was the victim of foul play, there 
is not the smallest reason to suspect that the Emperor was in any 
way concerned, as malicious rumours hinted. But there is no proof 
and there can be no certainty that the death of Germanicus was 
brought about by unfair practices of Piso or his wife. Another 
malicious report, which gained belief, was that Piso had not died 
by his own hand, but had been assassinated by the orders of the 

§ 15. The qualities of Germanicus have been painted in such 
bright colours by the great Roman historian who has recorded his 
career, that we cannot help feeling deeply prepossessed in his favour. 
He appears as one of the ideal heroes who die young. But it is not 
clear that he would have become a great man, if he had lived. His 
exploits have been exaggerated by the enthusiasm of his admirers. 

16 ad. LIBO DRUSUS. 181 

Tacitus, with more regard to art than truth, Las selected him 
as the brilliant hero to set beside the dark figure of Tiberius. 
Germanicus is generous and virtuous ; Tiberius suspicious and 
stained with crime. The uncle is the ideal tyrant, the nephew 
is the magnanimous prince. This picture of Tacitus in some 
measure reflects the general feeling which seems to have pre- 
vailed on the death of the popular Germanicus. Tiberius was 
misunderstood and maligned; the virtues of the son of Drusus 
were exaggerated. 

§ 16. In the year 16 a.d. a plot was detected, which, though not 
of a formidable nature, attracted considerable attention. It shows 
that there was dissatisfaction in patrician circles, and illustrates the 
character of Tiberius. A young man named Libo Drusus, of the 
Scribonian family, was accused of revolutionary projects. Scribonia, 
the second wife of Augustus, was his great-aunt ; Livia was his 
aunt; and he was the granoson of Sextus Pompeius through his 
mother. These connections with the imperial house seem to have 
turned his brain and suggested perilous ideas, which were encouraged 
by a senator named Firmius Catus, who was his intimate friend. 
Catus induced him to consult Chaldasan astrologers, and dabble in 
magic rites, practices which were tnen very dangerous, as they 
were regarded as a presumption of treasonable designs. He also 
treacherously led Drusus into extravagance and debt. Having 
collected sufficient proofs of guilt, Catus sent a messenger to the 
Emperor, craving an audience and mentioning the name of the 
accused. Tiberius refused the request, saying that any further 
communications might be conveyed to him in the same way. 
Meanwhile he distinguished his cousin Libo by conferring the 
prastorship on him, and often inviting him to table, showing no 
unfriendliness either in word or look ; but he kept himself carefully 
informed of the daily conduct of the suspected man. At length a 
certain Junius, whom Libo had tampered with for the purpose of 
invoking the dead by incantations, gave information to a noted 
informer, Fulcinius Trio, who immediately w r ent to the consuls, and 
demanded an investigation before the senate. Libo meanwhile 
knowing his peril, arrayed himself in mourning, and accompanied 
by some ladies of high rank, went round the houses of his relatives, 
entreating their intervention. But all refused on various pretexts. 
When the senate met, Tiberius read out the indictment and the 
accusers' names with such calmness as to seem neither to soften nor 
to aggravate the charges. Some of them were of a ridiculous nature ; 
for example he was accused of having considered whether he would 
ever have wealth enough to cover the Appian Eoad as far as 
Brundusium with money. But there was one paper in which the 


names of Csesars and senators occurred with mysterious, and there- 
fore suspicious, signs annexed. Libo denied the handwriting, and 
the slaves who professed to recognise it were examined by torture. 
As an old decree of the senate forbade the evidence of slaves to be 
taken in cases affecting their master's life, Tiberius evaded the law 
by ordering the slaves to be sold singly to the actor publicus, or 
agent of the eerarium, so that Libo might be tried on their testimony. 
The accused begged for an adjournment till the following day. On 
going home, he committed suicide, seeing that his case was hopeless. 
Tiberius said that he would have interceded for him, guilty though 
he was, if he had not destroyed himself. Libo's property was 
divided among the accusers ; and some of the senators proposed 
decrees reflecting on his memory — for example, that no Scribonian 
should bear the name of Drusus — in order to please Tiberius. Days 
of public thanksgiving were appointed, and it was decreed that the 
day on which Libo killed himself should be observed as a festival. 
Such sycophancy on the part of the senate became in later times a 
matter of course. 

Sect. I Y.— Rebellions in the Provinces and Dependencies. 

§ 17. We must glance at the troublesome, though unimportant, 
war which was waged at this time on the southern borders of the 
Empire, and at the career of Tacfarinas, who played in Africa the 
same part which the more famous Arminius played in the north. 
This Numidian had served in the Roman army, and had thus 
gained a knowledge of Roman discipline and military science. He 
then deserted, placed himself at the head of a band of robbers, and 
was finally elected as their leader by the Musulamii, who dwelt 
on the southern side of Mount Aurasius. The insurrection was 
not confined to these peoples of Numidia ; it spread westward into 
Maui etania and eastward to the Garamantes. The discipline and 
drill which Tacfarinas enforced rendered the rising formidable; 
for his organized bands were able to give battle and attempt sieges. 
The commanders, whom the senate elected by lot, were incompetent 
to deal with the insurgents, and the resulting war was protracted 
for seven years (17-24 a.d.). The single legion which protected, 
Africa was reinforced by a second from Pannonia, and, by the 
Emperor's intervention, an able proconsul, Q. Junius Blsesus, was 
at length appointed. Tacfarinas had demanded from Tiberius 
a grant of territory for himself and his rebel army. Tiberius 
haughtily refused and instructed Blaesus to hold out to the 
Other chiefs, who supported Tacfarinas, the prospect of a free 

17-24 ad. MUSULAMIAN WAR. 18& 

pardon if they laid down their arms. Many surrendered, and then 
Bla3sus attempted to meet Tacfarinas by tactics similar to his own. 
He divided his army into three columns, one of which he dis- 
patched eastward under Cornelius Scipio, to act against the 
Garamantes and protect Leptis. In the west, the son of Blaesus 
commanded a second column, and defended the territory of Cirta ; 
while in the centre Blaesus himself established a number of 
fortified positions, and thus embarrassed the enemy, who found, 
wherever he turned, Roman soldiers in his face, or on his flank, or 
in his rear. When summer was over, Blaesus continued hostilities, 
and by a skilful combination of forts and flying detachments of 
picked men, who were, acquainted with the desert, he drove 
Tacfarinas back step by step and finally captured his brother, and 
occupied the district of the Musulamii (22 a.d.). Tiberius per- 
mitted the triumphal ornaments to be awarded to Blaesus, and 
also granted him the distinction of being greeted Imperator by 
the troops — the last occasion on which this honour was granted 
to a private person.* 

But even the success of Blaesus was not the end of the 
insurrection. There were three laurelled statues at Rome for 
victories over the Musulamian chief — those of Camillus, Apronius, 
and Blaesus — and yet he was still ravaging Africa, supported on 
the one hand by the king of the Garamantes, on the other by the 
Moors. His boldness was increased by the circumstance that, 
after the campaign of Blaesus, the IXth legion had been recalled 
from Africa. In 24 a.d. he laid siege to Thubursicum, a 
Numidian town lying a little to the north of Mount Aurasius. The 
proconsul of the year, Publius Dolabella, immediately collected all 
his troops, and raised the siege. Knowing by the experience of 
previous campaigns that it was useless to concentrate his heavy 
troops against an enemy which practised such desultory warfare as 
Tacfarinas, Dolabella adopted the plan of Blaesus, and divided his 
forces into four columns. He also obtained reinforcements from 
Ptolemy, king of the Mauretanians. Presently he was informed 
that the Numidian marauders had taken up a position close to 
Auzea (Aumale), a dilapidated fort, surrounded by vast forests. 
Some light-armed infantry and squadrons of horse were immediately 
hurried to the place, without being told whither they were going. 
At daybreak they fell upon the drowsy barbarians, who had no 
means of flight, as their horses were tethered or pasturing at a 
distance. The dispositions of the Romans were so complete that 
the enemies were slaughtered or captured without difficulty. The 

* He was nephew of Sejanus, the praetorian prefect (see next chapter). 


general was anxious to capture Tacfarinas, but that chieftain, 
driven to bay, escaped captivity by rushing on the weapons of his 
assailants. His death ended this tedious war. 

§ 18. During this period there were also grave disturbances in 
Gaul and Thrace. In Gaul the fiscal exactions had led to heavy 
accumulations of debt among the provincials, and the creditors 
pressed for payment. The provincials resorted to counsels of 
despair. A conspiracy was formed to organize a rebellion 
throughout the whole land, and throw off the Roman yoke. The 
leaders were Julius Florus and Julius Sacrovir, two Romanised 
provincials. Florus undertook to gain over the Belgse and Treveri 
while Sacrovir, who perhaps held some priestly office, intrigued 
among the iEdui and other tribes. The secret was well kept, and 
the revolt broke out in western Gaul in the consulship of Tiberius 
and Drusus (21 a.d.). But the first rising was premature. The 
Andecavi and the Turones — whose names still live in Anjou and 
Touts — moved too soon, and were crushed by the garrison of Lugu- 
dunum, under Acilius Aviola, the legatus pr. pr. of Lugudunensis. 
This false move put the Romans on their guard, and the subsequent 
risings of the Treveri were easily foiled by the governors of the two 
Germanic provinces. Florus slew himself to escape capture. The 
iEdui had seized the important city of Augustodunum (Autun), 
but they too were easily defeated by C. Silius, legatus of Upper 
Germany, at the twelfth milestone from that town. Sacrovir 
escaped from the field to a neighbouring villa, where he fell by his 
own hand, and his faithful comrades slew one another, having first 
set fire to the house. A triumphal arch was erected at Arausio 
(Orange) to commemorate the defeat of Sacrovir. 

§ 19. The dependent kingdom of Thrace, after the death of 
Rhcemetalces, who had loyally stood by the Romans in the 
Dalmatian revolt, was divided between his brother Rhascuporis 
and his son Ootys. Their jealousies and feuds, which ended in the 
murder of Cotys, led to Roman interference and the execution of 
his uncle (19 a.d.). Two years later a formidable insurrection of 
the western tribes broke out. The rebels besieged Philippopolis, 
but were defeated by P. Vellasus, the governor of Mcesia. They 
rebelled again in 25 a.d., and of this rising we have more details. 

The mountaineers refused to submit to levies and to supply their 
bravest men to the armies of Rome. A rumour had spread that 
they were to be dragged from their own land to distant provinces, 
so that, mixed with other nations, they might lose their own 
nationality. They sent envoys to the governor of Achaia and 
Macedonia, Poppseus Sabinus, assuring him of their fidelity, if no 
fresh burden were laid upon them. Otherwise they gave him to . 

25, 26 a.d. WAR IN THRACE. 185 

understand that they would fight for their freedom. He gave mild 
answers until he had completed his preparations ; but when he had 
concentrated his forces, and was joined by a legion from Moesia and 
reinforcements from Rhcemetalces, son of Rhascuporis, he advanced 
on the rebels, who had taken up a position in some wooded defiles 
in their mountains, in the neighbourhood of a strong fortress. 
Sabinus fortified a camp and occupied, with a strong detachment, 
a long narrow mountain ridge, which stretched as far as the 
memies' fortress, which it was his object to capture. After some 
skirmishing in front of the stronghold, Sabinus moved his camp 
nearer, but left his Thracian allies in the former entrenchments, 
with strict injunctions to pass the night vigilantly within the camp, 
while they might harry and plunder as much as they wished in the 
daytime. Having observed this command for some time, they 
began to neglect their watches, and gave themselves up to the 
enjoyment of wine and sleep. Learning this, the insurgents 
formed two bands, of which one was to surprise the pillagers, the 
other to attack the Roman camp, in order to distract the attention 
of the soldiers. The plan was successful, and the Thracian 
auxiliaries were massacred. 

Sabinus then laid regular siege to the stronghold, and connected 
his positions with a ditch and rampart. The besieged suffered 
terribly from thirst, and their cattle were dying for want of fodder. 
The air of the place was polluted with the stench of the rotting 
carcasses of those who had perished by wounds or thirst. In this 
situation, many followed the advice and example of an old man 
named Dinis, who surrendered himself, with his wife and children, 
to the Romans. But two young chieftains named Tarsa and 
Turesis had determined to die for their freedom. Tarsa plunged 
his sword in his heart, and a few others did likewise. But Turesis 
and his followers decided to prolong the struggle, and planned 
a night-attack on the camp during a storm. Sabinus was pre- 
pared, and the brave barbarians were beaten back and compelled 
to surrender. The triumphal ornaments were decreed to Sabinus 
(26 A.D.). 

§ 20. Against a revolt of tributaries on the northern boundary of 
the Empire, the arms of Rome were not so successful. The 
Frisians, who had been subdued by Drusus in 12 B.C., had for 
forty years paid the tribute which he imposed on them. This 
tribute consisted in ox-hides, which were required for military 
purposes, and the officers who levied it never examined too 
curiously the size or thickness of the skins, until in 28 a.d. 
Olennius, a primipilar centurion, who was appointed to exact the 
tribute, chose the hides of wild bulls as the standard. As the 


domestic cattle of the Germans were of small size, the Frisians 
found this innovation hard. In order to meet the demands of 
Olennius, they were forced to give up, first their cattle, then their 
lands, finally to surrender their wives and children as pledges. As 
their complaints led to no redress, they rose in revolt. The 
soldiers, who were collecting the tribute, were impaled on gibbets, 
and Olennius himself was obliged to flee to the fortress of Flevum 
— probably in the island of the same name, now Ylieland, near the 
Texel — which was a Roman coastguard station. When the news 
reached L. Apronius, the governor of Lower Germany, he summoned 
some veteran legionaries and chosen auxiliaries from the upper 
province, to reinforce his own legions, with which he sailed down 
the Rhine, and relieved Flevum, which the Frisians were besieging. 
He then constructed roads and bridges over the adjoining estuaries, 
in order to transport his legionaries into the heart of the Frisian 
territory; and in the meantime sent some auxiliary cavalry and 
infantry across by a ford to take the enemy in the rear. The 
Frisians beat these forces back ; more cohorts and squadrons were 
sent to the rescue, but these too were repulsed ; and soon all the 
auxiliary forces were engaged. The legions were at length able to 
intervene, and just saved the cohorts and cavalry, who were com- 
pletely exhausted. A large number of officers had fallen, but 
Apronius did not attempt to take vengeance or even to bury the 
dead. Two other disasters completed the ill-luck of the Romans. 
Nine hundred soldiers were destroyed by the enemy in the wood of 
Baduhenna; and another body of four hundred, who had taken 
possession of a country house, perished by mutual slaughter, to 
avoid falling into the hands of the enemy. No further steps 
seem to have been taken against the Frisians. These events 
probably confirmed Tiberius in his determination to regard the 
Rhine as the limit of the Roman Empirej and he thought it a good 
opportunity to abandon the last relic of the conquests of his 
brother beyond that river. 

§ 21. The reign of Tiberius was very nearly being marked by a 
slave war in Southern Italy, but by a lucky accident the movement 
was crushed in its very beginning (24 a.d.). The organiser of the 
rebellion was Titus Ourtisius, who had once been a prastorian 
soldier. He held secret meetings at Brundusium and other towns 
in the neighbourhood ; then posted up placards, and incited the 
slave population in Calabria and Apulia to assert their liberty. 
Three vessels happened to come to land just then, and from them 
the quaestor Curtius Lupus (who had charge of the saltus, or 
forests and pastures in those parts) obtained a force of marines and 
crushed the conspiracy. Curtisius and his chief accomplices were 

28 A.D. 



sent prisoners to Rome, where, says Tacitus, " men already felt 
alarm at the enormous number of the slave population, which was 
ever increasing, while the free-born population grew less every 
day." The great marvel is that combinations among the slaves 
were not more common, and that it was not thought necessary to 
keep considerable garrisons in the towns of Italy to meet such 

View of Brundusmm. 

Parthian Warriors, from Trajan's Column. 



I. Tiberius develops the dyarchy on the lines of Augustus. Political 
rights of the people diminished. § 2. Institution of a permanent 
Prefecture of the City. § 3. Improvement of the civil service. 
The consilium. § 4. The army. Praetorian Castra. § 5. Finances. 
§ 6. The provinces. § 7. Italy. Economic crisis (33 a.d.). § 8. 
Administration of justice. Legislation. Social reforms. § 9. 
Maiestas. Case of Lutorius Priscus. § 10. The delatores. § 11. The 
younger Drusus. § 12. Plots of Sejanus and Livilla. Death of 
Drusus. § 13. Li via, Livilla, Agrippina, and Antonia. § 14. In- 
fluence of Sejanus. Deaths of C. Silius and Cremutius Cordus. Claudia 
Pulchra. Attacks on Agrippina. § 15. Tiberius leaves Rome (25 A.D.) 
and settles at Caprese. Incident at the Spelunca. § 16. Trial and 
death of Titius Sabinus. § 17. Death of Livia. § 18. -Plots of Sejanus 
against family of Agrippina. Nero declared a public enemy. § 19. 
Power of Sejanus. He conspires against the Emperor. His fall. 
§ 20. Deaths of Agrippina and her son Drusus. § 21. Prosecutions of 
the friends of Sejanus. Servility of the senate. Marcus Terentius. 
Foolish proposals of senators rejected by Tiberius. § 22. Relations 
with Parthia. Artabanus lectures Tiberius. L. Vitellius sent to the 
East, and Mithradates of Iberia set up in Armenia. Warfare in 

14-37 a.d. CESSATION OF COMITIA. 189 

Armenia. § 23. Vitellius intervenes. Tiridates sent to Parthia. 
Artabanus expelled and then restored. His submission to Rome. 
§ 24-. Designs of Tiberius fc? the succession. Gains, son of Germanicus, 
and Tiberius Gemellus, son of the younger Drusus. § 25. Death of 
Tiberius at Misenum. § 26. Estimate of Tiberius. His character. 
§ 27. His policy and its effects on literature. Velleius Paterculus. 
Valerius Maximus. Phsedrus. § 28. Tacitus on Tiberius. 

Sect. I. — Civil Government of Tiberius. 

§ 1. As the reign of Tiberius was singularly exempt from wars, the 
Emperor was able to devote his undivided attention to domestic 
government and the welfare of his subjects. His policy was 
distinguished by a conservative spirit. The chief principle of his 
administration was to follow the lines marked out by his pre- 
decessor. By abandoning the practice, which Augustus had adopted, 
of receiving an investiture of supreme power for a limited period 
only, he made a step nearer undisguised monarchy. The decen- 
nalia, or feast in honour of the decennial renewal of the tribuni- 
cian power of the Emperor, survived as a mere custom, without 
any political meaning. In two important matters he went beyond 
Augustus in emphasising the dyarchy and excluding the people 
from the government. (I) The functions which Augustus had left 
to the comitia of the people in electing magistrates were taken 
away by Tiberius, and transferred to the senate, soon after his 
accession. The only part left to the people was to "acclaim" 
those whom the senate chose. Tiberius preserved the imperial 
rights of nomination and commendation of candidates within the 
limits marked out by his father. (2) Ti e people did not formally 
lose its sovran right of legislation, but since the time of Tiberius it 
actually ceased to legislate. For the Emperor and the magistrates 
ceased to bring leges before the comitia; there are only two 
instances of such leges in the reign of Tiberius, while there are 
numerous senatusconsulta. The later Emperors, Claudius and 
Nerva, temporarily revived the old practice ; but with these 
exceptions- it may be said that, from Tiberius forward, legislation 
consisted of the consulta of the senate and the rescripts of the 
Emperor. The only legislative purpose for which the people had 
any longer to meet in comitia was to confer the tribunician power 
on a new Princeps. 

§ 2. Another important matter, in which Tiberius carried further 
an idea originated by Augustus, was the establishment of a perma- 
nent Prefecture of the city of Eome. We have seen that this 
office had been instituted as a temporary provision for the care of 
the city during absences of the Emperor, and Lucius Calpurnius 
Piso had been appointed prefect when Augustus left Eome in 14 a.d. 


Tiberius made the office a permanent post of great dignity, only 
open to senators of consular rank. He placed the three cohortes 
urbanse at the disposal of the prefect, and thus deprived the senate 
of the police control of the city. The prefect had a criminal 
court, in which he administered summary justice in the case of 
slaves and " roughs." Piso held the office for nearly twenty years, 
till his death in 32 a.d. Tiberius also instituted a new official of 
consular rank to look after the banks of the Tiber, cura riparum ei 
alvei Tiber is, in addition to the cura aquarum which had been 
founded by Augustus. 

§ 3. Tiberius concerned himself for the improvement of the civil 
service. One great defect of the prevalent system was that offices 
were filled by inexperienced young men, who held them for only a 
brief time. Tiberius tried to remedy this by extending the period 
of tenure, and men began to complain that they grew old in the 
discharge of the same duties. He did not attempt to introduce this 
innovation in the case of the magistrates appointed by the senate, 
and this was a sign that he was in earnest with the maintaining of 
the imperial system of Augustus, by which the senate had its 
sphere of activity independent of the Emperor. And when the 
proposal came from that body (in 22 a.d.) that the Emperor should 
test the qualifications of senatorial magistrates, Tiberius rejected it. 
He always behaved with studied politeness to senators, and he 
was accustomed to refer to the senate matters which might more 
naturally have come before himselfo Like Augustus, he employed 
a consilium, which consisted of his personal advisers and twenty 
illustrious members of the senatorial and equestrian orders ; but 
it does not appear that this cabinet council had any real influence 
in political affairs. Tiberius was curiously reserved in avoiding the 
assertion of his sovran power by titles and outward forms. In 
affecting to disguise his imperial position he went much further than 
Augustus. He never bore the prasnomen Imperator, and called 
himself Augustus only when he was corresponding with foreign 
princes.* He refused the title pater patriae, and forbade all, except 
his slaves, to address him as dominus. He did not permit temples 
or statues to be erected to himself, and he rejected the proposal 
to consecrate his mother, Li via Augusta. 

§ 4. In the army he maintained strict discipline. He declined 
to fulfil the promises of higher pay, which had been made to the 
mutineers in Illyricum and on the Rhine, after bis accession; and 
instead of shortening the period of service, he actually lengthened it. 
These facts indicate the strength of his authority with the troops. 
He took away from victorious generals the privilege of bearing the 
* His usnal title is Ti, Csesar ctivi Augusti f(iliusj. 

14-37 A.D. FINANCES. 191 

title imperator, and reserved it for members of the imperial family. 
In regard to the praetorian guards, he made an innovation, which 
had an important bearing on the future course of Koman history. 
Augustus had allowed only three cohorts to be quartered within 
the city, the other six being dispersed in the neighbourhood of 
Rome. Tiberius caused a permanent camp to be built in front of 
the Porta Viminalis (23 a.d.), and henceforward all the nine cohorts 
were stationed there together. Thus united, they were conscious of 
their numbers, and felt their power ; and at many a crisis, they 
disposed of the Empire and elected Emperors. This step also 
increased considerably the political power of the praetorian prefect ; 
in fact, the idea seems to have emanated from the favourite 
councillor of Tiberius, L. iElius Sejanus, whom he had appointed 
prsetorian prefect, and who saw how his own position would be 
strengthened by a concentration of the forces under his command. 

§ 5. The financial policy of Tiberius was careful and successful. 
The expenses of supplying Rome with corn and feeding the 
populace grew larger in his reign than they had been under 
Augustus. But in spite of this Tiberius was so economical that he 
was always able to act liberally in special emergencies. He did 
not waste the funds of the state in donatives or costly buildings. 
The only public edifices built by his command were the Temple of 
Augustus and the Theatre of Pompey. But when many of the 
famous cities of Asia were laid in ruins by an earthquake, Tiberius 
succoured them with the princely gift of 10,000,000 sesterces 
(£80,000) and caused the senate to remit to the inhabitants the 
payment of their tribute for five years. He had himself to supply 
the deficiency in the aerarium. We find him, in 33 a.d., bestowing 
on that treasury 100,000,000 sesterces (£800,000) ; and in 36 a.d. 
he gave the same sum for the relief of the sufferers in a great 
conflagration on the Aventine Hill. He never raised the rate of 
taxation. When Cappadocia became a province, on the strength 
of the addition which thus accrued to the revenue he reduced the 
tax of 1 per cent, on the sale of goods to i per cent * 

§ 6. The liberality of Tiberius in coming to the relief of the 
provinces, in the case of disasters, introduced a new principle into 
Rom^n statesmanship. Men were beginning to see that Rome, the 
mistress, had duties towards her subject lands. This policy of 
Tiberius is, as has been observed, one of the first signs of the 
reaction of the provinces upon Rome. It was, indeed, in the 
exercise of his proconsular functions that Tiberius most conspicuously 
showed himself as a wise and large-minded statesman. If he was 
hated at Rome, he was loved in the provinces. There is ample 
* It was raised again in 31 a.d. 



testimony to prove that his reign was, to the subjects, a period of 
unusual happiness. The discipline of the troops was strictly 
maintained, and the control exercised over the conduct of the 
governors was efficient and severe. The means of obtaining 
justice against oppression were facilitated, and under no reigu were 
there so many prosecutions of governors and procurators for 
extortion. Besides this, the burdens were never increased; and 
the new principle of keeping the same governor at his post for a 
long time seems to have worked satisfactorily. 0. Poppseus 
Sabinus, legatus of Macedonia and Achaia, which Tiberius had 
united in a single imperial province (15 a.d.), held that office 
throughout almost the whole reign. The imperial provinces were, 
as a rule, more equitably ruled than the senatorial. This is shown 
clearly under Tiberius by the number of cases in which proconsuls 
were condemned for maladministration.* The subjects themselves 
considered it a piece of good fortune to be transferred from the 
government of the senate to that of the Emperor. Tiberius expressed 
his provincial policy in saying that "it is the part of a good 
shepherd to shear his sheep, not to flay them." The special 
regulation which made the governors responsible for acts of rapacity 
on the part of their wives, deserves notice. 

§ 7. If he cared for the provinces, Tiberius did not neglect to 
help and guide the senate in promoting the welfare of Italy. He 
provided for the public safety and the security of travellers against 
robbers by stationing troops in various parts of the country ; and 
all disturbances were promptly suppressed. He also concerned 
himself for the revival of agriculture, which had been slowly and 
surely declining in Italy during the past century, owing to the 
disappearance of the population of free labourers, so that the 
peninsula was dependent on foreign supplies for her maintenance. 

A serious economic crisis occurred in 33 a.d., and the Emperor 
was obliged to interpose in order to save credit. The professional 
accusers (delator es) made an attack upon the money-lending 
capitalists, who had been systematically acting in defiance of two 
laws of Julius Caesar. One of these laws forbade any one to have 
more than 60,000 sesterces (£480) of ready money in hand ; the 
rest of each man's property was to be invested in lands and houses 
in Italy. The other regulated the relations between lenders and 
borrowers, and the amount of interest. The matter came before the 
city prastor Gracchus, who thought it necessary to refer the question 
to the senate, as so many people were concerned. But the senators 

* There are four cases: (1) Granius 
Marcellus, proconsul of Asia, (2) C. Sila- 
nus, proconsul of Asia, (3) Caesius Cordus, 

proconsul of Crete, (4) Vibius Serena, 
proconsul of Bsetica, were all condemned. 

33 a.d. FINANCIAL CKISIS. 193 

themselves were all guilty of transgressing the law, and so they 
appealed to the Emperor. He granted a year and six months, 
within which term everyone was to arrange his accounts in con- 
formity with the law. The usurers immediately called in their 
loans, and a large number of the debtors, in order to meet their 
obligations, were obliged to sell their estates. It was foreseen that 
this would lead to a scarcity of money, and, in order to keep specie 
in circulation, a senatusconsultum in the spirit of Cassar's law was 
passed, that every creditor should have at least two-thirds of his 
capital invested in estates in Italy. But the remedy proved only an 
aggravation of the evil. For the creditors hoarded up their money 
to buy land cheap, and the value of estates fell so much that the 
debtors could not pay their debts. Many families were ruined ; 
but at length Tiberius came to the rescue, and advanced 100,000,000 
sesterces as a loan fund, from which any debtor might borrow, for 
three years without interest, on giving security to the state for 
double the amount. By this means credit was restored, and the 
remaining debtors were enabled to save their estates or get the 
legitimate value for them. 

§ 8. Tiberius paid special and minute attention to the adminis- 
tration of justice. He introduced a new and salutary regulation, 
that nine days should intervene between the sentence and its 
execution, in the case of culprits condemned by the senate. That 
body became, in his reign, the high court of criminal justice. But 
the Emperor exercised paramount control over its decisions; and in 
all cases which affected his own interest, the senate merely 
expressed what they knew to be his will. In legislation Tiberius 
was also active. The lex Junia Norbana (19 a.d.) was a measure 
to protect such freedmen as had not been strictly emancipated, but 
were released from slavery by their masters. This law rendered 
them independent of their masters for life, and gave them 
commercium without connubium, or, as it was called, Juniana 
Latinitas. They could neither bequeath property by will, nor 
receive bequests from others. The equestrian class was also 
limited by a senatusconsultum, which excluded those whose 
grandfathers were not freeborn, and who did not possess a fortune 
of 400,000 sesterces (£32,000). 

In his endeavours to reform abuses and suppress nuisances in 
Eome and Italy, the Emperor increased and confirmed his 
unpopularity. He limited the number of gladiators in the arena ; 
and on the occasion of a riot in the theatre, he expelled the players 
from the city. He made a vain attempt to banish soothsayers from 
Italy. He tried to suppress the Oriental rites, which were making 
themselves a home in Rome ; he forbade especially the worship of 


Isis, and cast her statue into the river. He also adopted severe 
measures against Jews, who possessed Roman citizenship, in Italy. 
They had attempted to evade military service, and on this ground 
were regarded as bad subjects, and their rites were forbidden. Four 
thousand Jew freedmen were transported to Sardinia, and set the 
task of reducing the robbers who infested that unhealthy island. 
The limitation of the right of asylum may also be mentioned here, 
though it chiefly affected the eastern part of the Empire, where many 
places of refuge had been established for the protection of criminals. 
These religious refuges secured immunity to crime, and they had 
become public nuisances. 

Tiberius could do little to combat the prevailing luxury and 
dissipation among the higher classes. Frugal and moderate 
himself, he deeply disapproved of the extravagance of the aristocracy, 
and the absurd sums which were spent on furniture and the 
luxuries of the table. But he saw clearly that sumptuary laws 
were futile, and he said publicly that the time was not fit for a 
censorship. He was careful to keep up the state religion, which 
Augustus had revived. His mother Livia sat in public among the 
Vestal virgins ; and the priests of the newly founded college of the 
Sodales Augustales, who were to preserve the worship of the divine 
Augustus, consisted of the leading senators. 

§ 9. The part of the policy of Tiberius, which perhaps did most 
to render him disliked by both contemporaries and posterity, was 
the new interpretation which he gave to maiestas. This crime was 
properly an otfence against the abstract majesty of the common- 
wealth, and it came to include anything tending to bring the state 
into contempt. A lex Julia of Cassar had denned strictly the 
various forms which maiestas might assume, and had been 
extended by Augustus, who, however, had made little use of it. 
But Tiberius seized on the law of maiestas as a means for his own 
security ; and under him treason became an offence against the 
person of the Emperor, who thus comes to be regarded as the state. 
Any insult offered to the Prince ps in either .speech or writing, was 
brought under the head of maiestas. Tiberius did not deem himself 
safe against treachery, and he decided to resort to this engine, 
which could not fail to be abused and bring odium upon him. 
It was an instrument, by the fear of which he hoped to control 
the senators, and prevent them from expressing a dissentient view, 
lest it should be construed as treason. The case of Lutorius Priscus 
shows how outrageously this safeguard could be abused. Priscus 
was a knight who had written verses on the death of Germanicus, 
and had received from Tiberius a gift as a reward. Some time 
later Drusus fell ill, and Priscus, encouraged by his former success, 

14-37 a.d. MAIESTAS. DELATION. 195 

composed a poem on Drusus, to be published in case the prince 
should not recover. But, though Drusus did not die, the poet 
could not resist the pleasure of reading his composition to an 
audience, and the consequence was that the matter became known, 
and he was accused before the senate. The senate found him 
guilty of counting on the death of a Csesar; only two senators 
proposed that he should be leniently dealt with, as his act was due 
to thoughtlessness, not to evil intent. But he was condemned to 
death, and the sentence was forthwith carried out. Tiberius was 
absent from Kome when this happened, and when he returned he 
regretted the occurrence, and praised the view of the small minority. 
This affair of Priscus led to the regulation already mentioned, that 
a delay should intervene betw r een the sentence and the infliction of 

§ 10. The evils of this unhappy extension of the scope of maiestas 
were aggravated by the encouragement which was given by 
Tiberius to the delator es. Originally the delator was one who apprized 
the officers of the exchequer, of debts that were due to the state. 
The name was extended to those who informed in the cases of 
offences which were subject to fines, Augustus encouraged delation 
by offering rewards to those who lodged information against the 
violators of his marriage laws. Delation soon became a regular 
profession, and as there was no public prosecutor, it was very con- 
venient to the government to have prosecutions conducted by 
private delators. When Tiberius came to the throne, he regarded 
delation as an admirable instrument for securing the administration 
and enforcement of justice, and therefore encouraged it. But when 
he discovered how terribly it was abused and how odious it was to 
his subjects, he concluded that it was too dangerous a remedy, and 
set himself to check it, for he was honestly anxious to administer 
justice purely and strictly. The citizens lived in fear and terror 
of the unscrupulous informers; and Tiberius tried to hinder the 
distortion of the laws by instituting a tribunal of fifteen senators. 
But he relapsed afterwards into countenancing the practice of 
delation, owing to the influence of the pratorian prefect, Sejanus ; 
and as the law of treason became more comprehensive and 
extravagant, the delators became more terrible. 

Sect. II. — Rise of Sejanus. Death of Dbustjs. 

§ 11. The death of Germanicus removed difficulties from the 

path of Tiberius, in regard to the succession. It had been difficult 

for him to hold the balance evenly between Germanicus and his 

own son. How precisely he endeavoured to make no distinction 


between them is shown by a coin of Sardis, where Drusus comes 
first in the inscription, but Germanicus sits on the right hand in the 
picture. Drusus was morally and intellectually inferior to his 
cousin, but was deeply attached to him. and after his death, acted 
as a father to his children. The attitude of Tiberius to Germanicus 
seems to have been much like that of Augustus to Tiberius 
himself. From a feeling of duty to the state, he might acquiesce 
in the designation of his nephew as his successor, but his affection 
prompted him to prefer Drusus, though the father and son were not 
always on > the best terms. After the mysterious death of 
Germanicus, he set himself to secure the succession of Drusus, to 
the exclusion of his nephew's children. Ovations had been decreed 
to both the young Caesars for the successful discharge of their 
tasks in Armenia and Illyricum. The pacifier of Armenia nevel 
returned to Borne, but Drusus celebrated his ovation in 20 a.d., 
and in the following year held the consulship for the second time. 
In 22 a.d. his father raised him to the position of an imperial 
consort, by causing the senate and people to confer upon him the 
tribunician power. 

§ 12. But though the Emperor seemed to have cause to regard 
his nephew's death as a piece of good luck, his hopes for his son 
were destined to be frustrated. Drusus had married the sister of 
Germanicus, the younger Livia, generally called Livilla to dis- 
tinguish her from the wife of Augustus. She was beautiful, 
ambitious, and unscrupulous, and seems to have had an ally in her 
namesake, the Augusta. She was seduced into an intrigue with 
Sejanus, the handsome and powerful prefect of the guards, who 
pretended to be in love with her and flattered her. ambitious hopes 
with promises of marriage and the imperial throne, if the hindrance, 
which stood in their way, were once removed. Sejanus was a 
native of Yulsinii in Etruria,* and belonged to the equestrian class. 
In his youth he had served on the staff of Gaius Caesar. By his 
address and tact he had worked himself into the confidence of 
Tiberius, and had at length become indispensable as an adviser and 
semi-official minister. The Emperor did not dream how. high the 
ambition of his favourite soared. For Sejanus was not content with 
being the right hand of his master ; he longed to occupy himself 
the highest position in the state. But Tiberius was thoroughly 
blinded by his useful and servile instrument, and used to throw off 
his habitual reserve in his intercourse with Sejanus. He even went 
so far as to call the prefect, not only in private conversation, but 
in addresses to the senate and the people, "the associate of my 

* Hence Juvenal calls him " the Tuscan," Sat., x. 74 : Si Nortia (an Etruscan god- 
dess) Tusco favisset. 

23 ad. DEATH OF DRUSUS. 197 

labours," and allowed his busts to be placed in the theatres and 
fora. But these marks of favour were given freely, just because 
it never entered the thought of Tiberius that a man of the origin 
and position of Sejanus could possibly be dangerous. Drusus saw 
more deeply into the character of his father's favourite, and miu> 
mured at the influence which an alien had acquired at the 
expense of a son. On one occasion he raised his hand to strike the 
hated prefect. Sejanus, who had already begun to pave his way to 
the throne by arranging an alliance between his own daughter and 
a son of Claudius, the brother of Germanicus, determined to sweep 
Drusus from his path. 

Suddenly Drusus died (23 a.d.), seemingly of an accidental 
illness; but eight years after it was discovered that poison had 
been administered to him by the machinations of his wife Livilla, 
and her paramour Sejanus. It was a heavy blow to Tiberius. The 
children of his son were still too young to be designated as his 
successors, and nothing was left but to adopt Nero and Drusus, the 
eldest sons of Germanicus. He led the youths before the senate 
and recommended them as the future rulers of the state. Sejanus, 
who had divorced his wife Apicata, proposed to marry Livilla, but 
Tiberius forbade the union, which could only lead to new candi- 
dates for power. The prefect was driven to frame new plans. He 
resolved to destroy the family of Germanicus. 

§ 13. Tiberius was now surrounded by four imperial widows, 
who made his court a scene of perpetual jealousy and intrigue. 
These were ■ his mother Livia and his daughter-in-law Livilla, his 
sister-in-law Antonia, and Agrippina. The will of Augustus had 
left Livia a share in the supreme power, and she desired to exert it. 
Her name appeared with that of her son on the imperial rescripts. 
Tiberius was unable to shake off her influence, while he deprecated 
her interference in public affairs, and she had a strong party of 
adherents in the senate, who proposed to call her mater patriot. 
The ambition of the strong-minded Agrippina had been dis- 
appointed by the death of her husband, but she hoped to rise again 
through her children. Her chastity and fertility made her an ideal 
Roman matron, but she had a violent temper and an unbridled 
tongue. She regarded the Emperor as her natural enemy, and the 
leniency which was shown to her rival Plancina rilled her with resent- 
ment. Nor was she satisfied even when her sons, Nero and Drusus, 
were marked out as the successors of Tiberius. The fulfilment of 
her ambitious dreams seemed still too far away. 

§ 14. After the death of Drusus, Tiberius leaned n.ore and more 
on Sejanus, and from this period the Eomans remarked a de- 
generation in the home government. The prefect worked on the 



Emperor's fears by pretending to discover conspiracies against him, 
and many acts of cruelty were committed. But it must be noted 
that this change for the worse affected only the circles of nobles and 
officials, and did not involve any deterioration in the general 
prosperity of the Empire. Many victims,. in high positions, were 
sacrificed unjustly to suspicion and intrigue, but the Roman world, 
as a whole, was still well governed. The key to the tyranny which 
marked the second half of the principafe of Tiberius is probably to 
be found in his knowledge that Agrippina had a large party of 
sympathisers in the senate, who, after the death of Drusus, joyfully 
looked forward to the succession of her children. This party he 
and Sejanus determined to crush out. The first victim attacked 
by Sejanus was C. Silius, whom we have seen doing good work 
on the northera frontiers, and whose wife was a friend of 
Aarippina. He was accused of having connived at the rebellion 
of Sacrovir and of extortion, and the charges pressed him so hard 
that he committed suicide before sentence was passed. His wife 
was • banished, and his possessions, said to have been wrung from 
the provincials of Gaul, were confiscated. It is doubtful whether 
Cremutius Cordus, a Stoic philosopher, and author of Annals of 
the Republic during the period of the civil wars, was also a partisan 
of Agrippina. In his work he had called Cassius " the last of the 
Romans," and although Augustus had read the book and found 
no fault in it, this expression was now (25 a.d.) made a cause 
of accusation against him. It was said that his work was an 
attempt to excite a rebellion. Cremutius, thinking that his case 
was prejudged, delivered a bitter speech in the senate, and, 
returning home, starved himself to death. All that could then 
be done was to burn his books. 

In the following year (26 a.d.) the delators attacked Agrippina 
through her cousin Claudia Pulchra.* They charged this lady with 
the crime of adultery and also with having made attempts on the 
Emperor's life by poison and magic. Thereupon Agrippina sought 
the presence of Tiberius, and found him sacrificing to the divinity 
of his .father. " The same man," she cried, " cannot offer victims to 
the divine Augustus, and persecute his posterity." Stung by the 
reproaches which she heaped upon him, Tiberius quoted a Greek 
verse to this effect : " My daughter, have I done you wrong, because 
you are not a queen ? " On the news of the condemnation of her 
cousin, Agrippina fell dangerously ill. When Tiberius visited her, 
she besought him to permit her to take a second husband. To such 

* It seems that Claudia Pulchra was 
daughter of Marcella, the daughter of 
Octavia. The granddaughter of Octavia 

would be the sobrina (cousin on the 
mother's side) of the granddaughter oi 

26 a.d. PARTY OF AGRIPPINA. 199 

a step there were the same objections which he had opposed to the 
union of Livilla and Sejanus, but Tiberius deemed it more prudent not 
to urge them then, and he left the room abruptly. This anecdote 
was told in the Memoirs of Agrippina's daughter, the mother of 
Nero. Such scenes as these were calculated to widen the breach 
between Agrippina and Tiberius, and susp ; cions of her kinsman 
were artfully distilled, by the contrivance of Sejanus, into the mind 
of the princess. She became possessed of the idea that the 
Emperor was planning to poison her, and when she was invited to 
sup with him, she absolutely refused to partake of any of the food 
that was presented to her. This undisguised declaration of her 
suspicions alienated the Emperor still more. 

Sect. III. — Tiberius at Capre^:. Influence of Sejanus 
and his Fall. 

§ 15. Hitherto Tiberius had resided continually at Rome, and 
devoted himself assiduously to the conduct of affairs. He had con- 
stantly talked of visiting the provinces, and even made the 
preliminary arrangements for the journey, but when it came to the 
point, he had always found a pretext for not going. He never 
went further from the city than Antium. But as he grew older — 
in 26 a.d. he had reached the age of sixty-seven — his reserve, his 
distrust of his fellow-creatures, his dislike to the pomp of public life, 
seem to have increased. He had always been reserved, sensitive, and 
shy ; his temper had been soured by disappointments, both in his 
early life and in his recent years. His unpopularity in Rome, of 
which he was fully conscious, may have irritated him more as he 
became older; and his domestic life w 7 as full of worry b with Livia 
and Livilla on one side, and Agrippina on the other. All this 
might be enough to explain the motives which led him to take the 
momentous step of abandoning Rome and living permanently else- 
where. But if such motives operated, their effect was supported by 
the persuasions of the favourite Sejanus, who desired nothing better 
than to remove the Emperor to a distance, so as to have a free scene 
for his own plans. It is possible, however, that Tiberius may have 
been decided by a political motive. He may have wished to give 
Nero, the eldest son of Germanic us, an opportunity of gradually 
undertaking an active part in the government, and assisting 
him somewhat as he had himself assisted Augustus. Silly and 
malicious stories were circulated by the Emperor's enemies. It 
was said that he sought a place of concealment for the practice of 
licentiousness ; or that he wished to hide from the public view a 
face and figure deforced by old age. 


He left Rome (26 a.d.) on the pretext of consecrating a temple 
of Jupiter at Capua, and a temple of Augustus at Nola, recently 
built. His attendants were one senator, Cocceius Nerva.; two 
knights, Sejanus and another; and some men of science, and 
astrologers. During the Emperor's progress in Campania, an 
accident happened, which increased his confidence in Sejanus. 
The imperial party were dining at a country house called the 
" Cave " (Spelunca), formed of a natural grotto, between the gulf 
of Amyclae and the hills of Fundi. The rocks at the entrance 
suddenly fell in and crushed some of the servants, and the guests 
fled in panic. Sejanus placed himself in front of the Emperor, and 
received the falling stones. This incident convinced Tiberius that 
his prefect was a man who had no care for himself. 

Having dedicated the temples, he proceeded to the little island 
of Caprese, which Augustus, struck by its salubrious climate, had 
purchased from the people of Neapolis. Lonely and difficult to 
approach by its precipitous lime cliffs, yet near enough to the 
mainland, this island, about eleven miles in circuit and rising 
at either end to higher points of vantage, was an attractive retreat 
for the wearied statesman. Twelve villas were built by Tiberius in 
various parts of the island, which was vigilantly guarded from 
intrusion. But while his subjects thought that he had entirely 
relinquished the conduct of affairs to the prastorian prefect, and 
was spending his days in consultation with his astrologers or 
in foul debauchery, Tiberius still bestowed constant attention to 
the details of public business.* But he no longer troubled himself 
to suppress the servility of the senate, or to check the abuses of 
delation. Many innocent men were betrayed by the indefatigable 
informers, and the senators lived in fear ai d peril of their lives. 

§ 16. The case of Titius Sabinus, a Roman knight, who was tried 
and put to death in 28 a.d., was an episode in the struggle between 
Sejanus and the party of Agrippina, to which Sabinus belonged. 
Sabinus, who had been a friend of Germanicus, had made him- 
self conspicuous by the attention which he paid to the wife 
and children of that prince, after his death. Four ex-prators, who 
wished to obtain the consulship and sought for that purpose to 
ingratiate themselves with Sejanus, conceived the idea that the 
destruction of Sabinus would be an effectual means of winning the 
favourite's favour. Accordingly they laid a plot. One of them, 
named Latinius Latiaris, who was slightly acquainted with Sabinus, 
entered one day into conversation with him, praised him for not 

* Juvenal, Sat., x. 91 (of Sejanus) : 

Tutor baberi 

Principis angusta Caprearum in rupe 

Cum grege Chaldseo. 


having abandoned the house of Germanicus in the hour of adversity, 
and spoke in compassionate terms of Agrippina. Sabinus, who was 
of a soft nature, took Latiaris completely into his confidence, burst 
into invectives against the cruelty of Sejanus, and did not spare 
Tiberius himself. Several treasonable conversations took place, but 
as it was necessary to have more witnesses, and as Sabinus would 
not have spoken freely in the presence of the others, the three 
accomplices hid themselves between the ceiling and the roof in a 
room in the house of Latiaris, who induced Sabinus to visit him 
there on the plea of making a disclosure. The utterances of the 
entrapped knight on this occasion were quite sufficient for his 
condemnation, and the conspirators immediately dispatched a 
letter to the Emperor informing him of the treason of Sabinus. 
Tiberius, in his letter to the senate on January 1st (28 a.d.), 
mentioned the treasonable designs of Sabinus, and suggested that it 
might be well to punish him. The senate condemned him to death 
without hesitation and received a letter of thanks from Tiberius, 
hinting, however, that he still apprehended treachery, but without 
mentioning names. He was supposed to allude to Agrippina and 
her son Nero. 

§ 17. The year 29 a.d. was marked by the death of Livia, or, as 
she was publicly called, Julia Augusta, at the age of eighty-six. 
Her funeral oration was pronounced by Gaius, the third son of 
Agrippina, then in his seventeenth year. Tiberius did not regret 
his imperious mother. The funeral was marked by little ceremony ; 
the senate was forbidden to decree her divine honours ; her will 
remained long unexecuted. The memory of Livia has been much 
wronged by history. The consort of Augustus is forgotten in the 
mother of Tiberius ; and it is only remembered that she had done 
much to raise to the throne an unpopular ruler, whom the Romans 
cursed as a tyrant. There is reason to suppose, however, that her 
influence, exerted in the interests of clemency, sometimes thwarted 
Sejanus, and it is worthy of notice that he did not carry out his 
design against Agrippina until after the death of Livia. It has 
even been said that her death was a turning-point in the reign. Her 
friends, who, under her powerful protection, had ventured to speak 
somewhat boldly against the Emperor, were persecuted when she 
died. Conspicuous among these was the husband of the Emperor's 
divorced wife Yipsania, Asinius Gallus, who was confined in prison 
for three years and then put to death. 

§ 18. The body of Livia had not been long bestowed in the 

mausoleum of Augustus, when the senate received a letter from 

Tiberius, containing charges against Agrippina and Nero. The son 

was charged with gross licentiousness, the* mother with insolence 



and a contumacious spirit. There was no hint of disloyalty or 
treason, and the Emperor did not signify what he wished the 
senate to do. The people assembled outside the doors of the 
senate-house, and cried that the letter was a forgery, hinting that it 
was the work of Sejanus, and bearing aloft the images of Agrippina 
and Nero. A second message soon came from Caprese, rebuking 
the citizens for their rebellious behaviour, and urging the senate to 
take definite action on the charges against the accused. The servile 
senators found them guilty, and they were banished to barren 
islands, Agrippina to Pandateria and Nero to Pontia. Agrippina's 
second son Drusus still remained, but his fall, too, was speedily 
contrived by Sejanus. Just as he had seduced Li villa to compass 
the death of the elder Drusus, so now he seduced Lepida, the wife 
of the younger Drusus, and suborned her to calumniate her husband 
to Tiberius. Drusus, who, with his younger brother Gaius, lived 
at Caprese, was sent to Rome, as a mark of disgrace, and the senate 
hastened to declare him a public enemy. For the right of 
declaring an individual a public enemy, as of declaring war, still 
belonged to the senate. He was then arrested and imprisoned in 
the palace. 

§ 19. The power of Sejanus had now reached its highest point. 
He was regarded with greater awe than the Emperor himself. He 
seemed to be the true sovran and Tiberius the mere " lord of 
an island" (nesiarcli). Altars were raised and sacrifices offered 
before his statues, games were voted in his honour. But his fall 
was at hand. Tiberius had become jealous and suspicious of the 
designs of his minister ; and the graver his suspicions became, the 
more assiduously did he seek to disguise them until the time 
should come for the final blow. He loaded the prefect with honours. 
He betrothed him to his granddaughter Julia, the widow of Nero, 
who had died in exile at Pontia, and he conferred on him the 
honour of being his colleague in the consulship. This honour also 
furnished him with a pretext of ridding himself of the prefect's 
presence at Capreaa. Sejanus was sent to Rome to perform the . 
functions of the consuls, on behalf of both himself and. Tiberius, 
and he was received with abject flattery by senate and people. 
The senate decreed the consulate to him along with Tiberius for 
five years, and he was disappointed when Tiberius insisted on 
resigning it in the fifth month (31 a.d.). 

The messages, which from time to time arrived from Capreas, 
were uncertain and puzzling. Tiberius intended to keep Sejanus 
in a state of restless uncertainty. He conferred upon him the 
proconsular power and raised him to the dignity of a priest, but at 
the same time he mentioned his nephew Gaius Caesar with great 

31 a.d. FALL OF SEJANUS. 203 

favour, and conferred a priesthood on him also. Sejanus felt 
uneasy, and besought Tiberius to allow him to return to Caprese, to 
see his betrothed bride, who was ill. The request was refused, on 
the ground that the Emperor and his family were about to visit 
Rome. In a letter to the senate, which arrived soon after, 
" Sejanus" was mentioned without the addition of his titles, and it 
was forbidden to yield divine honours to a mortal. Besides this 
the enemies of the prefect were treated with favour. These things 
seemed to forebode disgrace, and Sejanus resolved to forestal his fall 
by overthrowing his master. A conspiracy was formed to kill 
Tiberius when he came to Rome, but Satrius Secundus, one of the 
conspirators, betrayed the plot to Antonia, and she hastened to 
reveal it to her brother-in-law. 

It would hardly have been safe to denounce openly the treason of 
Sejanus. To strike down the prefect of the praetorian guards 
required caution and cunning. Tiberius selected a trusted officer, 
Sertorius Macro, to succeed Sejanus as prefect, and instructed him 
how he was to proceed. When Macro reached Rome (October 17) 
it was midnight. He immediately sought the house of the consul 
Memmius Regulus, and, having revealed the purpose of his 
coming, caused him to summon a meeting of the senate, early in 
the morning, in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine. This place 
of meeting was perhaps chosen, in order that, if a disturbance 
should arise, Drusus, who was a captive in the adjoining palace, 
might readily be produced. Macro then visited Graacinus Laco, the 
commander of the cohortes vigilum, and arranged with him that the 
approaches to the temple should be guarded. In the morning, as 
Sejanus was proceeding to the senate, attended by an armed retinue, 
Macro met him and disarmed his suspicions by informing him ihat 
the business of the meeting would be to confer the tribunician 
power on Sejanus himself. This power was the only thing 
wanting to his association in the Empire, and Sejanus thought that 
his highest ambition was about to be fulfilled. When Sejanus had 
entered the temple, Macro informed the praetorians that he had 
been appointed their new prefect, and returned with them to their 
camp, as soon as he had given the Emperor's letter to the consuls. 

This "great wordy epistle" from Capreae,* which sounded the 
doom of Sejanns, began with some remarks on general matters, and 
then proceeded to a slight rebuke of Sejanus; then passed to some 
indifferent matters again, and finally demanded the punishment of 
Sejanus himself and some of his intimate friends. During the long 
recital of the letter, the suspense of the audience was intense, for 

* Verbosa et grandis epistola venit 
A Capreis (Juvenal, x. 71). 


none knew how it would end. Then the senators, who had been 
heaping Sejanus with congratulations, left his side. The consul 
ordered the lictors to seize him, and he was hurried off to prison. 
The people showed how much they rejoiced in the fall of the hated 
tyrant, by hurling down his statues. The senate, when they saw 
the temper of the populace, and as the prastorian guards did not 
intervene, met at a later hour of the same day in the Temple of 
Concord, and sentenced Sejanus to death. He was immediately 
strangled in the prison, and his corpse was dragged by the execu- 
tioner's hook to the Scahe Grenionias, according to the usual custom 
in the reign of Tiberius.* His death was followed by the execution 
of his family and friends. The senate decreed that a statue of 
Liberty should be set up in the Forum, and that the anniversary 
of the traitor's fall should be solemnly kept as a day of deliverance. 

Tiberius had in the meantime been agitated with fear and sus- 
pense. He had a fleet in waiting, ready to bear him to the east, in 
case Macro failed in the enterprise, and he posted himself on the 
highest cliff of the island, to watch for the appointed signal of 
success or Jailure. The fall of Sejanus was a relief to him, but it 
was soon followed by a horrible revelation. Apicata, the divorced 
wife of the fallen prefect, sent to Tiberius a full account of the 
details of the death of Drusus, showing how it had been com- 
passed by Sejanus and Livilla; and having revealed this long-kept 
secret, she put an end to her life. The revelation was confirmed by 
the testimony of the slaves concerned in the affair, and the guilty 
Livilla was punished with death. 

§ 20. The overthrow of Sejanus brought no alleviation to the 
miseries of Agrippina in her island or her son Drusns in his 
prison. It is not clear why the Emperor determined to destroy 
Drusus ; perhaps he thought that one so deeply injured would be 
dangerous if released. He allowed him to perish by starvation, and 
then wrote a letter to the senate, describing minutely the manner 
of his death, even the curses which in his last moments he had 
vented against Tiberius himself. The object of this strange com- 
munication, which excited the horror of the senators, is not 
evident ; perhaps it was intended to show beyond doubt that 
Drusus was really dead, for an impostor, pretending to be Drusus, 
had recently created some disturbances in Greece and Asia. The 
death of Agrippina by voluntary abstinence from food soon followed 
that of her son. The senate, at the Emperor's wish, decreed that 
her birthday should be ill-omened, and remarked that her death 
took place on the anniversary of the execution of Sejanus (18th 
October, 33 a.d.). The bodies of her and her children were not 

* Juvenal, x. 66 : Sejanus ducitur unco Spectandus* 

33 A.D. 



admitted to the mausoleum of the family until the reign of Gains, 
who exhumed them from the lowly tombs in which they had 
been thrown. 

§ 21. The prosecutions of those who were supposed to have been 
connected with the conspiracy of Sejanus were protracted over a 
year, but at length, in 33 a.d., the Emperor, weary of the pro- 
ceedings.. issued an order for the summary execution of all who 
were still detained in prison, whether men, women, or children. A 
certain Marcus Terentius, who was impeached in the senate on the 
ground of friendship with Sejanus, is reported to have made a bold 
speech. Others had repudiated their friendly relations with the 
fallen prefect, but he candidly acknowledged that "he was the 
friend of Sejanus, had eagerly sought to be such, and was delighted 
when he succeeded." " Do not think, fathers," he said, " only of 
the last day of Sejanus, but of his sixteen years of power.* To be 
known even to his freedmen and hall-porters was regarded as a 
distinction. Let plots against the state, conspiracies for the 
murder of the Emperor, be punished ; but as to friendship, the 
same issue of our friendship to Sejanus must absolve alike you, 
Csesar, and us." Terentius was saved by his boldness, and his 
accusers were condemned to banishment or death, according to the 
nature of their previous offences. But if a rare senator spoke out 
boldly, most of the order made the fall of the minister an occasion 
for obsequiousness. Some went so far in their proposals that they 
drew upon themselves the ridicule or severe censure of Tiberius. 
Thus Togonins Gallus begged the Emperor to choose a number of 
senators, of whom twenty should be selected by lot as a bodyguard 
whenever he entered the curia. This man had actually taken 
seriously a letter of the Emperor asking for the protection of a 
consul from Caprea? to Home. Tiberius, who had a fashion of 
combining jest and seriousness, thanked the senators for their 
kindness, but suggested several difficulties. Who were to be 
chosen ? Were they to be always the same ? Were they to be 
men who had held office, or youths ? And would it not be strange to 
see persons taking up swords on the threshold of the senate-house ? 
Bat if he knew how to answer a fool according to his folly, he could 
also sharply rebuke an impertinence. Junius Gallio proposed that 
the prsetorian soldiers, after having served their allotted time, 
' should have the right of sitting among the knights in the fourteen 
rows of the theatre. Tiberius asked what he had to do with the 

* The power and fall of Sejanus fur- 
nished JuveDal with an example in his 
satire on the vanity of human wishes. 
Cp. x. 62 : 

Ardet adoratum populo caput et crepat 

Sejanus ; deinde ex facie toto orbe 

Fiunt urceoli pelves sartago matellse, 
and the whole passage to line 107. 


praetorian guards, who received their commands and their rewards 
only from the Imperator ; and suggested that Gallio was one of the 
satellites of Sejanus, seeking to tamper with the soldiery. Grallio 
was then, in return for his flattery, expelled from the senate and 
banished from Italy. 

Kecent experiences had aggravated the Emperor's suspicious 
nature. He became more difficult of access, and committed many 
acts of cruelty. His faithful adviser, Cocceius Nerva, who was his 
companion at Capreae, weary, it is said, of seeing the harshness of 
his sovran, put himself to death, in spite of the prayers and 
remonstrances of Tiberius. Of the twenty members of the imperial 
consilium there soon remained only two or three ; the others had 
been the victims of delation. Public report ascribed to Tiberius a 
life of bestial debauchery in the inaccessible island, and the 
Parthian king actually addressed to him an impertinent re- 
buke for his licentious habits, and called upon him to satisfy 
public opinion by committing suicide. There is little doubt that 
Tiberius lived licentiously, like most of the Eoman nobles of those 
days; but there is no doubt also that his dissipations have been 
foully exaggerated. The circumstance that his life was prolonged 
to nearly four-score years without medical aid is enough to make us 
hesitate to accept the stories which were circulated about the orgies 
of Caprea3. 

Sect. IY. — Parthia and the Eastern Question. 

§ 22. Among other slanders, it was said that Tiberius in his 
island retreat was indifferent to the government of the Empire. 
The rumour seems to have reached the Parthian court and en- 
couraged the Parthian king Artabanus to assume a hostile 
attitude. The peace with Parthia was undisturbed until the 
death of Artaxes, king of Armenia, about 34 a.d. Artabanus, 
elated by a long and successful reign, and thinking that the old 
Tiberius would not be likely to undertake an eastern war, seized 
the opportunity to transfer Armenia from dependence on Borne to 
.dependence on Parthia. He induced the Armenians to elect his son 
Arsaces as successor of Artaxes. He even seemed to court a war 
with Home, and addressed insulting letters to the Emperor, demanding 
the inheritance of his old rival Vonones, who had died in Cilicia, 
insisting on the old boundaries of Macedonia and Persia, and 
threatening that he would seize the territories possessed long ago 
by Cyrus and afterwards by Alexander the Great. Tiberius was 
equal to the emergency. He conferred upon Lucius Yitellius, an 
able and resolute officer, the same powers which he had before con- 


ferred upon his nephew Germanicus, and sent him to the east, with 
orders to cross the Euphrates, at the head of the Syrian legions, if it 
should prove needful. At the same time he set up a rival to 
Arsaces in the person of Mithra<lates, brother of Pharasmanes, king 
of the Iberians ; and stirred up both the Iberians and Albanians to 
support his claim by an invasion of Armenia. Mithradates gained 
possession of the Armenian capital, Artaxata, and his rival Arsaces 
was removed by poison. King Artabanus then sent another of his 
sons, Orodes, to take the place of Arsaces, and recover Armenia, but 
the Parthian cavalry proved no match for the Caucasian infantry 
and the Sarmatian mounted archers, which supported Pharasmanes 
and Mithradates. A lively description of the warfare has come 
down to us. Pharasmanes challenged Orodes to battle, taunted 
him when he refused, rode up to the Parthian camp, and harassed 
their foraging parties. The Parthians at length became impatient, 
and called upon their prince to lead them to battle. In the tight 
which ensued every variety of warfare was to be witnessed. The 
Parthians, accustomed to pursue or fly with equal skill, deployed 
their cavalry and sought scope for the discharge of their missiles. 
The Sarmatians, throwing aside their bows, which at a shorter 
range are effective, rushed on with pikes and swords. There were 
alternate advances and retreats, then close fighting, in which, breast 
to breast, with the clash of arms, they drove back the foe or were 
'themselves repulsed. The Albanians and Iberians seized the Par- 
thian riders, and hurled them from their horses. The Parthians 
were thus pressed on one side by the cavalry on the heights, on the 
other by the infantry in close quarters. The leaders, Pharas- 
manes and Orodes, were conspicuous, encouraging the brave, 
succouring those who wavered; and at length recognising each 
other they rushed to the combat on galloping chargers and with 
poised javelins. The force of Pharasmanes was greater ; he 
pierced the helmet of the foe. But he was hurried onward by 
his horse, and before he could repeat the blow with deadlier 
effect, Orodes was protected by his guards. But the rumour 
spread among the Parthians that their general was slain, and 
they yielded.* 

§ 23. After the ill-success of both his sons, Artabanus took the 
field himself. It was now the moment for Vitellius to intervene. 
He sethis troops in motion, and threatened to invade Mesopotamia. 
This was the signal for the outbreak of an insurrection which had 
been long brewing in Parthia, and had been fomented by Roman 
intrigues. The Parthian nobles, dissatisfied with the rule of the 
Scythian Artabanus, clamoured for the restoration of a true Arsacid. 

* The above description of the battle is a free translation from Tacitus, vi. 34, 35. 


There was still a surviving son of Phraates at Rome ; and a section 
of the disaffected Parthians sent a secret embassy to Tiberius, 
requesting that this representative of the house of Arsaces should 
be sent to the east as a claimant to the Parthian throne. This 
suited the views of Tiberias, and he acceded to the request. But 
the candidate for sovranty died in Syria, and Tiberius then chose 
Tiridates, a grandson of Phraates, to take his place. The appear- 
ance of Vitellius and Tindates in the Parthian dominions was 
attended at first ..with complete success. Sirmaces, a man of good 
family and great wealth, and his father Abdageses, were the 
leaders of the party hostile to Artabanus, which was largely in- 
creased a f ter the disasters in Armenia. Artabanus had soon found 
himself deserted except by a few foreigners, and was compelled, 
in order to save his life, to flee into exile among the Scythians. 
Tiridates then, under the protection of Vitellius and the Roman 
legions, crossed the Euphrates on a bridge of boats. The first 
Parthian to enter the camp was Ornospades, formerly a Parthian 
exile, who had been made a Roman citizen in recognition of aid 
which he had given to Tiberius in the Dalmatian war, and sub- 
sequently returning to Parthia had been received into favour and 
appointed governor of Mesopotamia. Sinnaces and Abdageses 
arrived soon afterwards with the royal treasure. Then Vitellius, 
having thus given Tiridates a start, and displayed the Roman 
eagles beyond the Euphrates, returned with his army to Syria. 
Nicephorium, Anthemusias, and other towns of Greek foundation, 
gladly received the new king, expecting him to be a good ruler 
from his Roman training. The enthusiasm shown by the powerful 
city of Seleucia, which had preserved intact its Greek character 
under Parthian domination, was especially encouraging. But 
Tiridates made a fatal mistake in losing time. Instead of pressing 
forward into the interior of the country, he delayed over the siege 
of a fortress in which Artabanus had stored away his treasures and 
his concubines. In the meantime quarrels broke out among his 
adherents, some of whom, jealous of the influence of Abdageses, and 
regarding Tiridates as a Roman dependent, decided to restore Arta- 
banus. They found the exiled monarch in Hyrcania, covered with 
dirt and sustaining life by his bow. At first he thought that they 
intended treachery, but when he was assured that they desired 
his restoration, he hastily raised some auxiliaries in Scythia, and 
marched against Seleucia with a large force. In order to excite 
sympathy he retained the miserable dress which he had worn in 
his exile. The party of Tiridates retreated into Mesopotamia, and 
soon dispersed, Tiridates himself returning to Syria (36 a.d.)> an d 
leaving Artabanus master of the realm, except Seleucia, which was 


strong enough to hold out. Vitellius again threatened Mesopotamia ; 
but the restored monarch hastened to yield to the Roman demands, 
and a peace was concluded. Artabanus recognised Mithradates as 
king of Armenia, while the Romans undertook not to support the 
pretensions of Tiridates. The Parthian king also did homage to 
the image of the Roman Emperor, and gave up his son Darius as 
a hostage. 

Sect. V. — Last Days and Death of Tiberius. 

§ 24. Tiberius was not indifferent to the selection of a 
successor, though he is reported to have once said, quoting the 
verse of a Greek poet, " When I am dead, let earth be wrapt in 
flame. " * There were three male representatives of his house on 
whom his choice might fall. There was his nephew Tiberius 
Claudius Drusus, the youngest son of the elder Drusus,. but he was 
considered out of the question, as being of weak intellect. There 
was his grand-nephew Gaius (born in 12 a.d,), the ) oungest son of 
Germanicus, and there was his grandson Tiberius Gemellus (born 
19 a.d.), son of Drusus and Li villa. Between these two the choice 
was practically to be made. The Emperor had for a long time 
slighted Gaius, as being a son of Agrippina, and had not permitted 
him to assume the toga virilis until his nineteenth year. But 
Gaius began to rise, when Sejanns began to decline, in favour. He 
carefully dissembled any emotions he may have felt at the fate 
of his mother and brothers ; and the people looked forward with 
satisfaction to a son of Germanicus on the throne. On the other 
hand, Tiberius may have secretly wished for the succession of his 
grandson. In 35 a.d. he made a will leaving Gaius and Gemellus 
joint heirs of his private fortune, and this was equivalent to an 
expression of his wish that they should be joint heirs of the Empire. 
But there is reason to believe that he regarded Gaius as his 
successor. The four daughters of Germanicus had been married 
to men of note; Agrippina, of whom we shall hear more, to Cn. 
Domitius ; Drusilla to Cassius Longinus ; Julia, to Vinicius, the 
patron of Yelleius Paterculus the historian; and a fourth, of 
unknown name to the son of Quintilius Varus. His own grand- 
daughter Julia, the widow of Nero, and the betrothed of Sejanus, 
he married to Rubellius Blandus a knight of obscure origin. 

§ 25. The prastorian prefect Macro, who now partly occupied the 
place which Sejanus had formerly held at Caprea3, saw that Gaius 

* 'Eju,ov Oavovros yala fxtx^ro) irvpi, equivalent to the expression of a modern 
potentate, "After me the deluge." 



was probably destined to succeed, and sought to obtain an 
ascendency over him Graius had lost his wife, the daughter of 
M. Junius Silanus, in the third year of their marriage, and Macro 
engaged his own wife Ennia to enthral the young man by her arts 
and charms. The sharp old Emperor observed the policy of the 
prefect, and said to him, (i You leave the setting sun, to court the 
rising." In the seventy-eighth year of his age, in the first months 
of 37 a.d., Tiberius quitted his island, never to return. He travelled 
slowly towards Rome and advanced along the Appian Way within 
seven miles of the city. He gazed for the last time at the tops of 
the distant buildings, but frightened by some evil omen, turned 
back, and retraced his steps southward. He was failing fast. At 
Circeii, in order to hide his weikness, he presided at military 
exercises, and in consequence of the over-exertion b came worse. 
He tried till the last to conceal his condition from those who were 
with him, and his physician Charicles had to resort to an artifice to 
feel his pulse. He breathed his last in the villa of Lucullus at 
Misenum, on March 16, 37 a.d. It was whispered that his end 
was hastened by Macro, who, seeing him suddenly revive, stifled 

§ 26. In estimating Tiberius, we must take into account the cir- 
cumstances of his life, and also the character of the witnesses who 
have recorded his reign. A Claudian, both on the father's and on 
the mother's side, descended from the Neros to whom, as Horace 
sang, Rome owed so much, he had all the pride of his patrician 
house. He was strong, tall, well-made, and healthy, with a fair 
complexion, and long hair profuse at the back of his head — a 
characteristic of the Claudii. He had unusually large eyes, and a 
serious expn ssion. In his youth he was called " the old man," so 
thoughtful was he and slow to speak. He had a strong sense of 
duty, and a profound contempt for the multitude. The spirit of his 
ancestress, the Claudia who uttered the wish that her brother were 
alive again, to lose another fleet and make the streets of Rome less 
crowded, had in t^ome measure descended upon Tiberius. He 
was, as the originally Sabine name Nero signified, brave and 
vigorous ; and had a conspicuous aptitude for the conduct of affairs. 
But he was too critical to have implicit confidence in himself; * and 
he was suspicious of others. His self-distrust was increased by the 
circumstances of his early manhood. His reserved manner, unlike 
the geniality of his brother Drusus, could not win the affection of 
his stepfather Augustus, who regarded his peculiarities as faults ; 

* This feature of his character — impor- 
tant for comprehending him — is thus sig- 
nified by Tacitus {Annals, i. 83): Ut 

callidum eius ingenrum, ita anxium 

37 a.d. DEATH OF TIBEKIUS. 211 

and when he was young enough to have amhition, he was made use 
of indeed, but he never enjoyed Imperial favour. Kept, when 
possible, in the second place, he was always meeting rebuifs. He 
was forced to divorce Vipsania and marry Julia, who brought him 
nothing but shame. Thus the circumstances of his life, and his 
relations to his stepfather were calculated to deepen his reserve, to 
embitter his feelings, and produce a habit of dissimulation ; so that 
there is little wonder that a man of his cold, diffident nature, 
coming to the throne at the age of fifty-five, should not have won 
the affections of subjects whom he did not deign to conciliate. All 
his experiences tended to develope in Tiberius that hard spirit 
{rigor animi), so clearly stamped on his features in the large sitting 
statue which has been preserved. On the other hand his diffidence 
made him dependent on others, first on Livia, and then on Sejanus, 
who proved his evil genius. 

In regard to the darker side of his policy as a ruler, we must 
remember that he had undertaken a task which necessarily involved 
inconsistencies. He undertook to maintain the republican disguise 
under which Augustus had veiled the monarchy. The wearing 
of a mask well suited his reserved and crafty nature, but the 
success of this pretence depended far more on pergonal qualities than 
Tiberius realised. It had been a success with Augustus, because 
he was popular and genial. It was a failure with Tiberius because 
he was just the opposite. After Tiberius, the mask was dropped. 
The system of delation and the law of maiestas were provided by 
Tiberius as a substitute for the popularity which had shielded his 
predecessor from conspiracy. Owing to the spread of delation, the 
reign of Tiberius was to some extent a reign of terror. Hardly any 
important works of literature were produced, for men did not care 
to write wh^n they could not write freely. We have already seen 
the fate of the historian Cremutius Cordus. Two other historians ? 
whose works have come down to us, escaped censure by flattery, 
In the case of one, the flattery was probably sincere. Velleius 
Paterculus, whose short " Roman History " in two Books was 
published in 30 a.d., had served under Tiberius in the Pannoniau 
w r ar, and afterwards risen to the rank of quasstor, and then of 
praetor. He had conceived a deep admiration and affection for his 
general, and lauds him with extravagant superlatives. He also 
speaks in very high terms of Sejanus, who had not yet fallen- 
Valerius Maximus was more clearly a time-server. In his " Nine 
Books of Memorable Deeds and Words," a collection of anecdotes of 
Roman history, written in a tasteless, pretentious style, he is servile 
to the Emperor, but as the work appeared after the fall of Sejanus, 


a vehement declamation against that minister is introduced. The 
Spaniard, Ann2eus Seneca of Corduba, not to be confounded with 
his more famous sou, was active under Tiberius as well as under 
Augustus. He wrote a history extending from the beginning of the 
civil wars almost to the day of his death (about 39 a.d.), unfortu- 
nately not preserved ; but his works on rhetorical subjects are partly 
extant. The terror of delation did not affect jurists like Mastjbius 
Sabinus, men of science like Celsus, or gastronomists like Apicius, 
owing to the politically indifferent nature of their subjects. It is 
not easy to see ^w it affected poetry, but Virgil and Horace had 
no immediate successors. The only poetical writer of the reign was 
the freedman Ph^edrtjs, and he tells us that he was persecuted. 
He was the author of five Books of iEsopian fables, in iambic 
trimeters. Pomponitjs Sectodus wrote tragedies, but perhaps did 
not publish them till after the death of Tiberius. The Emperor 
was himself imbued with letters. He wrote a lyric poem on 
the death of Lucius Caesar, and Greek verses in the style of the 
Alexandrine school. He also wrote memoirs of his own life. He 
was a strict purist in language, and resolutely refused to use words 
borrowed from Greek. 

§ 28. This negative testimony of literature shows that delation 
was a very real danger and that the government of Tiberius was in 
some respects tyrannical. But he was not such a tyrant as he has 
been painted by the later writers Tacitus and Suetonius. Over 
against the dark picture of Tacitus we must set the opposite 
picture of the inferior artist Yelleins, and we must allow for the 
bias of both authors. We must remember that Velleius had seen 
Tiberius at his best, in the camp conducting a campaign, that he 
received promotion from him, and was prejudiced in his favour; in 
addition to this, he was writing in the Emperor's lifetime. On 
the other hand Tacitus wrote under the influence of a reaction 
against the imperial system, and he lays himself out to blacken the 
character of all the Emperors prior to Nerva. The dark character 
of Tiberius, and a certain mystery which surrounded his acts and 
motives, lent themselves well to the design of the skilful historian, 
who gathered up and did not disdain to record all sorts of popular 
rumours and stories imputing crime to the exile of Capreaa. Apart 
from the measures which he adopted for his own safety, or at 
the instigation of Sejanus, and which mainly concerned his own 
family and nobles connected with them — apart from the conse- 
quences of the system of delation, which were felt almost ex- 
clusively at Eome — there can be no question that the rule of 
Tiberius was wise, and maintained the general prosperity of the 

14-37 a.d. 



Empire. Augustus was not deceived, when, in adopting his stepson 
into the Julian family, he said "I do it for the public welfare ; " 
nor, on the other hand, was he mistaken when he prophetically 
pitied the fate of the people of Rome which he was committing to 
be masticated in the " slow jaws " of his adopted son.* 

* Miserum populum Romanum, qui sub tarn lentis maxillis erit ! 

Agrippina, wife of Germanicua (from Statue in the Capitoline Museum). 

Gaius and Drusilla (from cameo in Bibliotkeque Rationale, Paris). 


§ 1. Claims of Gaius to the Principate. He is accepted by the senate. 
The acts of Tiberius are not confirmed, his will is annulled, and he is 
not deified. § 2. Faneral of Tiberius. Reaction against his policy. 
Gaius shows respect for the senate and piety to his family. § 3. 
Munificence of Gaius. His speech in the senate. § 4. Early life 
and character of Gaius. He is under the influence of Agrippa. 
§ 5. Illness of Gaius. Sympathy of his subjects. Philo quoted. 
Death of Tiberius Gemellus. § 6. Pleasures of Gaius. He degrades 
his dignity in the circus. § 7. Sisters and wives of Gaius. His 
oriental ideas. He demands divine worship and professes to be a 
god. § 8. His architectural extravagance. The bridge of ships at 
Puteoli. His jealousy of great names. § 9. Financial difficulties 
drive him to plunder his subjects. § 10. His expedition to Gaul. 
Conspiracy of Lentulus Gaetulicus. Exile of the Emperor's sisters. 
Acts of Gaius at Lugudunum. § 11. Britannic expedition. His return 
to Rome. § 12. The reign of terror. § 13. Increased taxation. 
Conspiracy of Chserea, and murder of Gaius. § 14. Policy of 
Gaius in the provinces reactionary. He restores client kingdoms in the 
East, but annexes the kingdom of Mauretania. § 15. Refusal of the 
Jews to pay him divine worship. Embassies from Alexandria. 

Sect. I. — Popular Beginnings of the Eeign of Gaius. 

§ 1. We have seen that Tiberius had made Gaius and Gemellus 
co-partners in the inheritance of his private fortune, thus re- 
commending them to the senate and people as co-partners in the 
Principate. He seems to have intended for them a joint rule like 
that which Augustus intended for his grandchildren Gaius and 
Lucius Csesar. Perhaps he did not believe that such a rule was 

37 a.d. ACCESSION OF GAIUS. 215 

possible; but he left the decision to fate. The power and the 
initiative naturally devolved on Gaius, who was older than his 
cousin by seven years and had already entered on public life. He 
was supported by the favour of the populace and the strength of 
the praetorians with Macro at their head ; so that his succession 
seemed certain. But it is to be observed that from a constitutional 
point of view Gaius did not occupy as strong a position on the 
death of Tiberius as Tiberius had occupied on the death of Augustus. 
Tiberius had been already invested with the tribunician power and 
the most important of the imperial prerogatives during the lifetime 
of Augustus. But since the death of his son Drusus, Tiberius 
had not moved the senate to confer the tribunician power on any 
one; and Sejanus, who had nceived proconsular power, no longer 
lived. Gaius was not in any sense a consors imperii. Hence on 
the death of Tiberius, it was open to the senate to elect as the new 
Princeps whomsoever they wished. But though the inheriting of 
the Empire was not recognised by the constitution, it was generally 
felt that the heir of the Emperor had the best claim to succied 
him in the government as well as in his private property. Hence 
the election of Gaius was taken for granted both by himself and 
by others. 

The Emperor's death was finally announced to the senate in a 
letter from Gaius, conveyed by the hand of Macro, who also 
brought the testament of Tibet ius, in which Gaius and Gemellus 
were appointed co-heirs. Gaius asked the fathers to decree to the 
late Emperor a public funeral, deification, and the other honours 
which had been decreed to Augustus, also to confirm his acts ; but 
at the same time he demanded that the testament should be 
annulled. Such a documeut might prove inconvenient, for though 
legally it only concerned the private estate of Tiberius, it might be 
used to give his grandson a claim to participation in the imperial 
power. The senate acceded to the wishes of the Candida re for the 
Empire, whom it did not hesitate to elect. The tribunician power 
and all the functions of the Empire were conferred on Gaius Caesar* 
(March 18) ; a public funeral, but not deification, was decreed to 
Tiberius ; and his wili was annulled. But in return some concessions 
were required from Gaius. He adopted his cousin Tiberius Gemellus 
and named him princeps iuventutis ; and he gave up his demand 
that the acts of his predecessor should be confirmed by the senate. 
Tiberius was not added to the gods, and in this way his memory 
was condemned. 

§ 2. The accession of the young Emperor was hailed by the 
people with wild delight as the beginning of a new age. They had 
* His official title was C. Csesar Augustus Germanicus. 


received the news of the death of Tiberius with a savage outburst 
of hatred. It is said that they wished to drag his corpse to the 
river, and cried Tiber 'turn in Tiberim, " Tiberius to the Tiber ! " 
After years of fear, sullermess, and gloom, they looked forward to 
an age of merriment and pleasure — a return of the Augustan era. 
The procession conveying the body of the dead Emperor was 
conducted by his successor from Misenum to Rome, and the people 
poured forth to meet it, forgetting their hatred of the dead tyrant 
in their joy at welcoming the new sovran. They allowed the 
funeral solemnities to pass over quietly, and when Gaius had 
spoken a funeral oration, the corpse was cremated in the Campus 
Martins and the ashes placed in the mausoleum. 

The new reign was inaugurated by a reaction against the policy 
of the preceding. The most odious delators were banished from 
Italy; all prisoners were released; all exiles recalled. The ex- 
tension of the law of maiestas to words written or spoken was 
done away with. The writings of Cremutius Cordus and others, 
which had been suppressed, were permitted to circulate again ; the 
Emperor declaring that the writing and reading of history conduced 
to the interests of every good prince. Gaius also annulled the 
right of appeal to himself from the tribunals in Rome, Italy, and 
the senatorial provinces. He endeavoured to make a strict division 
between the functions of senate and Princeps ; and he followed the 
example of Augustus, neglected by Tiberius, in publishing the 
accounts of the state. He restored to the comitia the election of 
the magistrates, and thus showed that he desired to maintain the 
outward form of a republic. But this change was soon discovered 
to be useless, for as the number of candidates seldom exceeded the 
number of vacant places, there was no room for suffrage, and the 
comitia, when it assembled, found that it had nothing to do. 
Hence after two years, the system of Tiberius was restored. Gaius 
assisted the administration of justice by creating a fifth decuria of 
jurymen, for the existing number was found to be unequal to the 
work they had to do. It was composed of men of the same 
qualification as those who filled the fourth decuria, created by 
Augustus (see above, Chap. HI. §§ 7, 8). Gaius also conferred the 
equus publicus on a large number of persons, because the equestrian 
order had been greatly reduced in number in the reign of Tiberius, 
who had neglected to replenish it by new nominations. 

The son of Germanicus distinguished himself by piety to his 
family no less than by respect to the senate. When he had 
appeared in the presence of the fathers and won their goodwill by 
a plausible and submissive speech, he hurried in person to the 
islands where his mother and brother had been banished and con- 


veyed their ashes back to Rome, to be deposited in the mausoleum 
of the Csesars. He caused the senate to decree to his grandmother 
Antonia the titles and honours which had been formerly decreed to 
Li via. He changed the name of the month September to Ger- 
manicus, so that the name of his father might rank in the Calendar 
beside Julius and Augustus. He called upon his uncle Tiberius 
Claudius, whose existence no one ever seemed to remember, and 
who hitherto, although he was forty-six years of age, held only 
equestrian rank, to be his colleague in the consulship, on which he 
entered on July 1st (37 a.d.). His sisters Julia Livilla, Agrippina, 
and Drusilla received the honours of Vestal virgins. Gains 
himself modestly refused the title Pater Patriae, which the senate 
offered him. 

§ 3. How popular the new reign was with the multitude is 
shown by the immense number of victims — one hundred and sixty 
thousand — which were offered in thanksgiving to the gods. The 
citizens and the -soldiers were delighted with the unbounded 
munificence of the successor of the frugal Tiberius. All the 
legacies and donations ordered in the will of Tiberius were paid, 
although that deed was otherwise annulled, and the testament of 
Li via, which Tiberius had neglected, was now executed. Besides 
this, Gaius distributed to the plebs the donation, which should 
have been given when he assumed the toga virilis. The immense 
sums which lay in the treasury, heaped together by the saving 
policy of Tiberius, enabled him to defray these expenses and to 
enter upon a course of reckless profusion, which the rabble greeted 
with applause. At the same time he reduced his revenue by 
abolishing the small tax of i per cent, on sales in Italy. 

When Gaius assumed the consulship, he made a speech to the 
senate, criticising severely the acts of Tiberius and making fair 
promises for his own future government. The fathers were so 
pleased, and yet so afraid that he would alter his views, that they 
decreed that his speech should be read aloud every year. His 
exemplary devotion to his duties during the two following months 
seemed to augur well for the future. But on the last day of 
August, which was his birthday, he threw aside business, and gave 
a magnificent entertainment, such as had not been witnessed for 
many years. On this occasion he consecrated the temple of 
Augustus, which was at length completed. From this time Gaius 
showed the world a new side of his character, which few perhaps 
had suspected. He plunged into a mad course of shameless dissi- 
pation and extravagance. 

§ 4. When his subjects saluted their new Emperor, they were 
quite ignorant what manner of man he was. In his personal 


appearance there was nothing to attract. His figure was ill- 
proportioned, his eyes set deep in his head, his features pale ; and 
his scowling expression still displeases us in his bust.* His 
constitution was weak, and his intellectual capacity was small ; and 
whatever intellect he possessed had never been trained, except in 
rhetorical exercise. Want of training in his youth may partly 
account for the vagaries of his manhood ; but there is no doubt 
that his brain was affected. He was subject to epileptic fits, and 
he suffered from sleeplessness. His early childhood was spent in 
the camp on the Rhine ; his next experience was the distressing 
circumstances of his father's death. Afterwards he was detained 
under the watchful eye of Tiberius in the lonely island, where he 
learned to dissemble, flatter and deceive. It is said that Tiberius 
penetrated the real character of the crafty boy, and made the 
remark that Gaius lived for the perdition of himself and all men. 
All the tastes of this degenerate grandson of Drusus were vulgar and 
vile. He cared only for the company of gladiators and dancers ; 
he took delight in the sight of torture and death. He seems to have 
been always thoroughly unsound in mind, and when the unlimited 
power of the sovran of the Eoman Empire was placed in his hands, 
his head was completely turned. He had fallen under the influence 
of Herod Agrippa, who instilled into his mind oriental ideas as to 
the divine nature of monarchy, and filled his head with dreams of 
the grandeur of eastern kings. This Agrippa, son of Aristobulus, 
was o rand son of Herod the Great, and had come to Eome along 
with his mother Berenice and his sister flerodias, after the death 
of his father. Rome was at this time an asylum for the members of 
eastern royal families, who in their own country would probably 
have perished by the hand of their reigning kinsmen. Antonia, 
whose father had been a friend of Herod, became the protectress of 
his grandson, and the young Agrippa was brought up in the company 
of Claudius, who was of his own age. When his uncle Herod 
Antipas (the Herod of the Gospels), B.C. 4-a.d. 39, who married 
Herodias, obtained the kingdom of Samaria, Agrippa was invested 
with the governorship of the city of Tiberias. But this did not 
satisfy his ambition. He returned to Rome in the last years of 
Tiberius, to watch for an opportunity to better his position. He 
attached himself to the young Gaius, whose prospects seemed to 
be bright, and obtained a great influence over him. Agrippa was a 
shrewd and energetic man, who had seen a great deal of the world; 
very dissipated and unprincipled; and always in want of money. 
His descriptions of oriental magnificence, his pictures of the omni- 
potence which even the smallest monarchs in the east possessed 
* In the Capitoline Museum. 


over the life and property of their subjects, his lessons perhaps in 
the voluptuousness of Asia, produced a deep and dangerous effect 
on the diseased mind and sensual nature of the future Emperor. 
Rome had been threatened with the introduction of oriental 
theories by Antmiius ; she was destined to experience them at the 
caprice of his great-grandson. 

§ 5. After the celebration of his birthday, the Emperor did not 
resume his political duties, but gave himself up to dissipation and 
enjoyment, and from this time to the end of his reign his only 
occupation was the pursuit of pleasure and excitement. Under 
the first wild outburst of sensuality his weak constitution gave 
way and lie became dangerously ill. The general distress which 
was then felt, both in Rome and in the provinces shows how popular 
he was. Philo, a Jew of Alexandria, describes the prosperity of 
the Empire at the beginning of his reign and the sympathy which 
was felt at his illness. The passage deserves to be quoted :* 

"Who was not amazed and delighted at beholding Gaius assume 
the government of the Empire, tranquil and well-ordered as it was, 
fitted and compact in all its pa.ts, north and south, east and 
west, Greek and barbarian, soldier and civilian, all combined 
together in the enjoyment of a common peace and prosperity ? It 
abounded everywhere in accumulated treasures of gold and silver, 
coin and plate ; it boasted a vast force both of horse and foot, by 
land and by sea, and its resources flowed, as it were, from a 
perennial fountain. Nothing was to be seen throughout our cities 
but altars and sacrifices, priests clad in white and garlanded, 
the joyous ministers of the general mirth ; festivals and assemblies, 
musical contests and horse-races, nocturnal revels, amusements, 
recreations, pleasures of every kind and addressed to every sense. 
The rich no longer lorded it over the poor, the strong upon the 
weak, masters upon servants, or creditors on their debtors; the 
distinctions of classes were levelled by the occasion ; so that the 
Snturnian age of the poets might no longer be regarded as a 
fiction, so nearly was it revived in the life of that happy era." 
The provinces were happy for seven months; then the news 
arrived that the Emperor, having abandoned himself to sensuality, 
had fallen grievously sick, and was in great danger. " When the 
sad news was spread among the nations, every enjoyment was at 
once cast aside, every city and house was clouded with sorrow and 
dejection, in proportion to its recent hilarity. All parts of the 
world sickened with Gaius, and were more sick than he, for his was 
the sickness of the body only, theirs of the soul. All men reflected 

* The translation of this passage is borrowed, with modifications, from Merivale 
(cap. xlvii.). 


on the evils of anarchy, its wars, 'famines, and devastations, from 
which they foresaw no protection but in the Emperor's recovery. 
But as soon as the disease began to abate, the rumour swiftly 
reached every corner of the empire, and universal were the excite- 
ment and anxiety to hear it from day to day confirmed. The 
safety of the prince was regarded by every land and island as 
identical with its own. Nor was a single country ever so interested 
before in the health of any one man as the whole world then was 
in the health of Grams." 

This instructive passage of an Alexandrine writer of that day, 
shows how important an Emperor's life was then felt to be for the 
welfare of the state. Gaius recovered, but he did not mend his 
ways. The solicitude of the citizens and the provincials impressed 
him with a deeper sense than ever of his own importance. His 
first act was to remove from his path his cousin Gemellus, who 
had a rival claim to the throne. About November, 37 a.d., the 
feeble grandson of Tiberius was compelled to kill himself.* Macro 
the praetorian prefect had laid Gaius under such great obligations 
in helping him to secure the throne, that he ventured on the 
indiscretion of sometimes reminding the Emperor of his duties. 
At the same time Ennia pressed her lover to keep his promise of 
marrying her. But Gaius was weary of the wife, and impatient 
of the husband, and he resolved to destroy them both. Macro 
received a command to put himself to death. About the same 
time Gaius recalled M. Silanus, the father of his first wife, who was 
then proconsul of Africa, and caused him to be executed. These 
acts may be regarded as the turning-point of the reign. 

Sect. II. — Exteavagance and Tyranny of Gaius. His 


§ 6. Feeling himself superior to both law and custom, Gaius did 
not hesitate to parade his degraded tastes before the public, and to 
prostitute the imperial dignity in a way which would have seemed 
simply inconceivable to Augustus or Tiberius. He took a keen 
delight in the sports of the circus and in gladiatorial shows, and 
is said to have himself sung and danced in public, and even 
descended into the arena. Knights and senators were compelled 
to take part in the chariot-races. Charioteering became a sort of 
political institution in this i eign, and continued to be so until the 

* The epitaph of this boy has been 1 As he is called the son of Drusus, his 

found near the Bustuin Cassarum in the adoption by Gaius was apparently an- 

Campus Martius : nulled on his death. 
Ti. Caesar Drusi Csesarisf. hie situs est. 

38 A.D. 



latest days of the Empire. There were four rival parties, dis- 
tinguished by colours, the green, blue, red, and white. Gaius 
favoured the green faction, and built a special place of exercise for 
it. But the gladiatorial shows were the special delight of the 
Emperor. He removed the limitations which Augustus had set 
on the number of gladiators ; and the amphitheatre of Taurus and 
the Saspta in the Campus Martins were constantly filled with the 
rabble and the court witnessing not only pairs of gladiators, but 
the battles of armed bands. Nobles and knights were forced to 
fight, as well as slaves; for all his f ellow-citizens were his slaves 
in the eyes of this Princeps. Combats with wild beasts were also a 
frequent amusement. One wonders that the higher classes 
tolerated this juvenile tyranny and such shameless degradation 
o( the imperial dignity ; but they seem to have felt it as a change 
for the better after the parsimony and austerity of the preceding 
reign, and they saw that the new fashion of things was popular 
with the rabble. 

§ 7. Gaius is said to have lived in incestuous connection with his 
three sisters,* and though this charge is uncertain in regard to 
Agrippina and Julia, there can be no doubt about Drusilla, of whom 
he was very fond. He had separated her from her husband, and 
lived openly with her, after the manner of the Ptolemies and other 
oriental potentates. When she died (July, 08 a.d.), he was incon- 
solable. The senate decreed her the honours of Livia; her statues 
were placed in the curia and in the temple of Venus ; and she was 
deified under the title of Panthea. All the cities of the Empire 
were commanded to worship her. During his principate, Gaius was 
married three times, and in all cases, to married women whom he 
snatched from their husbands. The first, Orestilla, wife of Cn. 
Piso, was soon repudiated for the sake of Lollia Paulina, the wife of 
Memmius Kegulns, the same who had assisted in the arrest of 
Sejanus. She was a very rich lady, and her wealth was probably 
her chief attraction for the Emperor. She was then divorced on the 
ground of barrenness, and was succeeded by Milonia Caesonia, to 
whom, though she was a woman of plain features, the Emperor 
seems to have been really attached. 

As time went on and Gaius found no resistance offered to his 
sovran will, as he saw the world at his feet and men of all classes 
content to be his slaves, he was seized with the idea of his own 
godhead, and exacted divine worship. The oriental notions which 
he learned from Agrippa, and the deification of Julius and Augustus, 

* He, caused his sisters to be mentioned 
along with himself in the military oath ; 
and the formula for the relafio of a consul 

was quod ~bonum felixque sit C, Cxsari 
sororibusque eius. 


suggested to him this extravagance. He believed that nothing 
was impossible for him to execute, and his great passion was to 
make it manifest that he was controlled by no law, and not 
subject to ordinary human affections. He exulted in looking on 
suffering without blenching. He regretted that his reign was not 
marked by some striking disaster such as the defeat of the Yarian 
legions. He used to dress himself like Bacchus or Hercules or 
Venus, and play the part of these deities in the temples before an 
admiring crowd. He pretended to converse with Jupiter in the 
temple on the Capitol, and for this purpose, in order to have 
speedier access 'to his divine kinsman, he caused a flying bridge 
to be thrown across the Velabrum, reaching from the Palatine close 
to the newly dedicated temple of Augustus to the Capitoline. 
Among the gods, as among men, he claimed to be pre-eminent; he 
declared that he was the Latian Jupiter ; and he challenged, with a 
Homeric verse, Jupiter Capitolinus to combat. 

§ 8. He endeavoured to manifest his divine nature by archi- 
tectural constructions of colossal and fantastic designs. He 
connected the- imperial palace with the temple of Castor in the 
Forum, perhaps by a series of corridors supported on a bridge, and 
thus made the temple- the vestibule of the palace. This construc- 
tion has disappeared without leaving a trace. His most useful work, 
was the aqueduct conveying to Rome the waters of the Aqua 
Claudia and the Anio Novus ; but this he was unable to complete. 
He planned a work, which has been often designed but never 
executed, the making of a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. 
His most daring construction was the bridge across the Gulf of 
Baias (39 a.d.), which was clearly not intended to be permanent. 
A soothsayer, it is said, had prophesied that Gaius would never 
become Emperor anymore than he would drive a chariot across the 
Gulf of Baia3. Gaius determined to drive across it, attended by a 
whole army. Having collected all the ships that were to be found 
in all the havens far and wide, thus impeding the regular course of 
commerce and causing serious inconvenience, he drew them up in 
double line from Bauli to Puteoli. On this bridge of ships was 
placed a great floor of timber, which was covered all over with earth 
and paved like a high road. A new and unheard of spectacle was 
devised, to be exhibited on this structure before it was demolished, 
and the whole shore from Misennm to Puteoli was crowded with 
spectators. The Emperor, dressed in armour which had been worn 
by Alexander the Great, rode at the head of a band of soldiers, 
across the bridge and entered Puteoli as a conqueror. Next 
morning he drove back in a triumphal chariot but dressed as a 
charioteer of the green party. He halted at the centre of the bridge 


and made a speech. A banquet followed, which lasted till late in 
the night, and the whole scene was illuminated with torches on 
the bridge and on the coast. Intoxication prevailed and many 
spectators were drowned. 

If he was zealous for his own fame, Gaius was jealous of the 
fame of others. He caused the statues of the distinguished men of 
the Republic, which Augustus had set up in the Campus, to be 
broken in pieces. He forbade the last descendant of the Pompeys 
to bear the name Magnus. He commanded the works of Virgil and 
Livy to be removed from the libraries, on the ground that Virgil had 
no genius, and that Livy was careless. He would not permit the 
image of his own ancestor Agrippa to be placed beside that of 
Augustus ; he even repudiated his grandfather, and gave out that 
he was the grandson of Augustus and Julia, living in incest like the 

§ 9. The extravagances of Gaius at last plunged him into 
financial difficulties. He exhausted the large treasures accumulated 
by Tiberius, and in order to refill his empty purse, he began to 
persecute the nobles, and confiscate the property of the rich. 
Hitherto, he had steadfastly and vehemently denounced all the 
works of Tiberius, but, pressed by want, of gold, he did not hesitate 
to revive the law of treason and the system of delation, in order to 
plunder his fellow-citizens. 

Appearing in the senate, he openly praised the policy of his 
predecessor, and announced the revival of the laws of maiestas. 
The senate thanked the Emperor for his clemency in permitting 
them to live, and decreed him special honours. Many rich 
senators were sacrificed to appease the Emperor's cupidity. 
L. Annaeus Seneca only escaped because his declining age pro- 
mised that his wealth would soon fall into the imperial coffers 
without prosecuting him. The noble exiles in the islands were 
put to death, and their fortunes confiscated. But Gaius ultimately 
alienated not only the senate, but the people, by imposing new 
taxes which affected Italy and Rome, and the soldiers, by rescind- 
ing their wills. 

§ 10. But before he went so far as to tax the citizens of Rome 
(41 a.d.), he had plundered Gaul. In September, 39 a.d., he 
announced that hostilities of the Germans required his presence 
on the Rhine, and proceeded thither with a retinue of dancers and 
gladiators. Lentulus Ga3tulicus, a son-in-law of Sejanus, had been 
now for ten years the commander of the legions of the Upper Rhine. 
Before the death of Tiberius, he had bten accused of having relaxed 
the discipline of the camp in order to win the favour of his soldiers. 
When he was threatened by disgrace, he boldly defied the Emperor to 



Chap. xiv. 

remove him from the governorship of Upper Germany, and Tiberius 
had left him where he was. Perhaps the purpose of the expedition 
of G-aius was to assert the imperial authority over this independent 
le^atus, and restore military discipline. It is certain that the 
barbarians beyond the limes were at this time troublesome, and 
the victory which Gaius announced to the senate may have been 
warranted by a real repulse inflicted on some band of Germans 
attempting to invade Gaul.* At this time a conspiracy was formed, 
in which Lentiilus Geetulicus was implicated. The object of the 
plot was to slay Gaius and place M. iEmilius Lepidus on the 
throne. Lepidus had been a favourite of the Emperor and a 
companion of all his pleasures. Gaius had given him in marriage 
his favourite sister, the unfortunate Drusilla, and had intended to 
designate him as successor to the Empire. The surviving sisters 
of Gaius, Agrippina and Julia, intrigued with Lepidus, and took 
part in this treasonable plot, which was discovered in October, 
39 a.d. Gsetulicus and Lepidus were executed, and the two 
women were banished. Gaius sent a full account of their adultery 
and treason to the senate, and asked the fathers to confer no 
distinctions on his kinsfolk for the future. He also sent three 
swords, destined for his assassination, to be dedicated as votive of- 
ferings to MarsUltor. To 611 the place of Gaatulicus, he appointed 
Lucius Galba (afterwards Emperor), who enforced and restored 
discipline among the demoralized legions. 

The Emperor spent the winter at Lugudunum, where he 
practised every device for extorting money from the inhabitants 
of Gaul. Prosecutions and executions were the order of the day. 
Auctions were held, at which the people were forced to buy at 
extravagant prices. It is said, that furniture of the imperial 
palace was conveyed from Rome to the banks of the Rhone, and 
that the Emperor himself played the auctioneer, recommending each 
article and encouraging the bidding. " This was my father's," he 
said, u this my great-grandfather's ; this was a trophy of Augustus ; 
this an Egyptian rarity of Antony." By such means the imperial 
coffers were enriched. Lugudunum also witnessed the great-grand- 
son of Augustus mocking the celebration of the ceremony at his 
Altar, which represented the union of the Gallic provinces. Among 
the contests which were instituted in his honour were competitions 
in rhetoric and verse. Gaius compelled the unsuccessful candidates 

* Persius, vi. 43 : 

Missa est a Caesare laurus 
Insignem ob cladem Germanae pubis et aris 
Frigidus excutitur cinis ac iam postibus 

lam chlamydes regum, iam lutea gausapa 

Essedaque ingentesque locat Cassonia 


Tacitus calls the Britannic and the 
Germanic expeditions " Gaianarum ex« 
peditionum ludibrium." 

40 a.d. GAIUS IN GAUL. 225 

to wipe out what they had written with their tongues, under 
penalty of being cast into 'the river. 

§ 11. On January 1, 40 a.d., he assumed the consulship for the 
third time, "but resigned it on the twelfth day. As his destined 
colleague had died before the end of the year, and the senate was 
afraid to nominate anyone in his place without the imperial 
sanction, the Emperor was sole consul during the short period of 
his office. In spring, he advanced northward from Lugudunum 
to the shores of the ocean, in order to achieve the work which his 
greater namesake had attempted, the conquest of Britain. This 
project was suggested to him by Adminius, a fugitive prince of 
that island, who had sought refuge with the Romans. The large 
army which Gaius had collected reached the Bononia* of the 
north — otherwise called Gesoria'cum — expecting to take ship there; 
but one day they were ordered to form in line along the shore, 
in full battle array, and Gaius, who reviewed his troops from a 
trireme, suddenly issued a command to pile arms and pick shells. 
The soldiers filled their helmets with the shells, which were regarded 
as spoils of the sea, and sent to Borne in token of the great victory 
won by the Emperor over the ocean and the island of the ocean. 
It is quite conceivable that this extraordinary caricature of a 
British expedition was actually enacted by the eccentric Emperor ; 
but it is also possible that the story may be a fictitious parody of a 
genuine expedition which came to nothing. 

Before he returned to Rome, in order to celebrate there with 
unheard of magnificence a triumph for his warlike exploits, Gaius 
visited Castra Vetera and Oppidum Ubiorum on the Lower Rhine; 
and report said that he conceived the monstrous idea of decimating 
those troops, who, twenty-five years ago, had by their mutiny 
caused the flight of his mother Agrippina, when he was an infant 
in her arms.f The tale probably rests on some jest which the 
Emperor let fall, in his bantering manner, and which was taken up 
as serious. His entry into Rome (August 31, 40 a.d.) took the 
form of an ovation, not a triumph as he proposed. For the senate, 
uncertain what his real wishes were, had not ventured to decree him 
a triumph until the last moment ; and Gaius, filled with resentment, 
refused their tardy offer. " I am coming," he said, " but not for the 
senate, I am coming for the knights and people, who alone deserve 
my presence. For the senate, I will be neither prince nor a citizen, 
but an Imperator and a conqueror." 

§ 12. From the moment of his return the Emperor threw off all 
the remaining disguises which cloaked the monarchy, and all the 

* The northern Bononia is now Boulogne, I f See above Chap. XII. § 3. 
as the southern Bononia is Bologna, 


fictions of liberty. He appeared in the undisguised character of an 
eastern autocrat. Instead of entering Rome as a citizen, he 
entered in the garb of an imperator ; and it it said that he would 
have assumed the diadem, if he had not thought himself superior 
to the kings of the east who wore it. The cruelties and excesses 
of the new tyranny, which exceeded what had been hither- 
to experienced, necessarily led to conspiracies. A plot, in which 
Anicius Cerealis, who will meet us again in a subsequent 
principate, took part, was detected, and the senate decreed that the 
Emperor should occupy a seat in the curia, elevated so high that 
no conspirator could reach him. Fear of his life made Gaius 
doubly cruel, and yet the nobles, instead of striking a blow for 
their freedom, tried to save themselves by servility to the worth- 
less favourites and delators. Suchwas the freedman Protogenes, 
who carried about with him two tablets called Sword and Dagger, 
on which the names were inscribed of those who were marked out 
for death by execution or assassination. To what a pass the spirit 
of the senate had descended is illustrated by the fate of Scribonius 
Proculus. One day when Protogenes entered the curia and the 
senators pressed forward to shake hands with him, he cried to Pro- 
culus who was among them, " What ! darest thou, the enemy of 
Caesar, to salute me ? " The word was hardly spoken when the 
Fathers fell upon their brother senator, and stabbed him to death 
with their styles. From such men the tyrant thought he had little 
to fear. 

§ 13. Financial difficulties drove the Emperor at length into 
imposing a number of new taxes on Italy and Rome, and these 
measures deprived him of any vestige of popularity that he still 
enjoyed with the populace on account of the shows with which he 
amustd them. In January, 41 a.d., he imposed a tax on imports 
at the Italian harbours, and at the gates of the Italian cities, in- 
cluding Rome. He ordained a fee of 2£ per cent, for persons 
suing in the courts of law. He established an income tax, which 
was levied even on prostitutes. He seems to have also resorted to 
the device of debasing the currency.* A feeling of hostility grew 
up between the people and their ruler ; and it is said that Gaius, 
disgusted at the symptoms of his unpopularity, expressed the wish, 
" Would that the Roman people had only one neck ! " 

But from these new imposts men had not long to suffer. A 
conspiracy was formed among the praetorian officers, in which 
Cassius Chaerea, who owed a personal grudge to the Emperor, and 
Sabinus, both tribunes of the praetorian guards, took the most 
active part. L. Annius Vinicianus and some of the imperial 
* Statius, Silv. iv. 9. 22 : Emptum plus minus asse Gaiano 

41 a.d. MUKDER OF GAIUS 227 

freedmen were also implicated. The blow was struck on the 
24th of January (41 a.d.) just as Gaius was making prepara- 
tions for a campaign of extortion in the rich province of Egypt. 
The assassination was accomplished by Chasrea and his fellows in 
the vaulted corridor which connected the palace witli the Circus 
Maximus, through which Gaius was passing to see the horse-races. 
The conspirators succeeded in escaping from the swords of the 
German bodyguards, and the corpse of Gaius was hastily interred 
in the Lamian gardens. At a later period it was exhumed and 
cremated by the sisters whom he had banished. At his death 
Gaius was only thirty years old. 

Sect. III. — Provincial Government. The Jews. 

§ 14. If the principate of Gaius was a reaction on that of 
Tiberius in domestic policy, so too in provincial affairs he aimed at 
altering the arrangements of his predecessor. Tiberius had deposed 
Antiochus of Commagene, and made that district a province ; Gaius 
restored it to the deposed king's son, Antiochus IV. Epiphanes 
Magnus, increased it by the Cilician coast, and restored 100,00 ',000 
sesterces, the confiscated property of his father. Agrippa, whom. 
Tiberius had imprisoned, received the tetrarchy* of his uncle, 
Philip II., who had recently died, and in addition Abilene. Two 
years later, he induced the Emperor to depose Antipas and his wife 
Herodias, the rulers of Samaria, and send them into exile, on the 
ground of treason. Samaria was given to Agrippa, who thus united 
under his sceptre the lands which had formed the kingdom of 
Herod the Great, with the exception of the province Judea. In 
Thrace a Koman officer had governed the inheritance of Cotys 
since 19 a.d. Gaius restored it to Rhcemetalces, son of Cotys, 
and increased the realm by the rest of Thrace, which had belonged 
to another Ehcemetalces, the son of Rhascuporis. The younger 
brothers of the restored Rhcemetalces had been brought up with 
Gaius himself in Italy, and were related through their mother 
Antonia Tryphaina with his own grandmother Antonia. He there- 
fore provided them also with kingdoms. To Polemo he gave Pontus 
Polemoniacus, and to Cotys Lesser Armenia. Another appoint- 
ment made by Gaius at the same time (38 a.d.) was that of the 
Arabian Scasmus to the throne of Ituraea. 

But while he restored dependent kingdoms in the east, he pulled 

down a dependent kingdom in the west. Ptolemy, king of 

Mauretania, was summoned to Rome and executed, in order that 

his treasures might replenish the Emperor's coffers. It was con- 

* See above, Chap. VII. $ 7. 


tern plated to divide Mauretania into two provinces, Caesariensis 
and Tingitana ; and this arrangement was a f terwards carried out. 
Gains also made an administrative change in the neighbouring 
provinces of Africa and Numidia. Africa was the only senatorial 
province in which a legion was stationed under the command of 
the governor. Gaius removed this anomaly by consigning the 
legion to an imperial legatus, who was also entrusted with civil 
functions in Numidia, while the powers of the proconsul were 
confined to the administration of civil affairs in Africa Yetus. 

§ 15. The claim of the Emperor to receive adoration as a god led 
to disturbances among the Jew T s, both in Judea and at Alexandria. 
In 38 B.C. Herod Agrippa visited Alexandria on the way to his 
new kingdom. His appearance in the streets in royal state led to 
an anti-Jewish demonstration among the non- Jewish population ; 
and the prefect of Egypt Avillius Flaccus, with a zeal which 
proved unlucky for himself, seized the opportunity to require that 
the Jews, whom they detested, should set up statues of the Emperor 
in their synagogues. When the Jews refused to submit to such 
an abomination, their fellow-citizens drove them into one quarter 
of the town, and destroyed their dwellings throughout the rest. 
Many of them were slain in the tumult. But Flaccus, who had also 
issued an edict forbidding the Jews to keep the Sabbath, paid the 
penalty of his wrong-doing. He was immediately superseded, and 
sent as a prisoner to Rome by Bass us, who succeeded him. The 
Jews, however, had only a short respite. When Gaius began to 
claim divine worship from all his subjects, he would not brook the 
solitary refusal of the Jews. It was expected that a decree would 
go forth, ordaining that the imperial image should be set up in all 
synagogues ; and with a view to avert, if possible, such a calamity, 
the Jews of Alexandria sent an embassy to appeal directly to the 
Emperor (40 a.d.). The details of this embassy have come down 
to us from the pen of the most distinguished of the ambassadors, 
the learned philosopher Philo. At the same time the Alexan- 
drians sent a counter-embassy to thwart the Jews. When they 
arrived on the coast of Campania, the tidings met them that 
orders had just been issued to Petronius, the governor of Judea, to 
set up a colossal statue of the Emperor in the Holy of Holies at 
Jerusalem. Gaius was at this time engaged in transforming the 
house and gardens of the Lamias into a royal residence, and the rival 
embassies from Alexandria were summoned thither. They found 
him hurrying about from room to room, surrounded by architects 
and workmen, to whom he was giving directions, and they were 
compelled to follow in his train. Stopping to address the Jews, he 
asked, " Are you the God-haters, who deny my divinity, which all 

40 AD. 



the world acknowledges?" The Alexandrian envoys hastened to 
put in their word, " Lord and master, these Jews alone have refused 
to sacrifice for your safety." " Nay, Lord Gaius," said the Jews, 
" it is a slander. We sacrificed for you, not once, but thrice ; first 
when you assumed the empire, then when you recovered from your 
sickness, and again for your success against the Germans." " Yes," 
observed Gaius, "you sacrificed for me, not to me ; " and thereupon 
he hurried to another room, the Jews trembling, and their rivals 
jeering, " as in a play." The next remark he addressed to them 
was, " Pray, why do ye not eat pork ? " Finally he dismissed 
them with the observation, *' Men who deem me no god are after 
all more unlucky than guilty." The embassy of Philo and his 
fellows was a failure. Gaius was resolved to impose his worship 
on the Jews, and his orders to Petronius were confirmed. The 
rebellion of Judea seemed inevitable, when the death of the mad 
tyrant averted the sacrilege from the temple of Jerusalem. 


Bust of Claudius (from the statue in the Vatican). 



1. Circumstances of the accession of Claudius. Idea of restoring the 
Republic. The praetorian guards and the senate. § 2. Early life and 
character of Claudius. § 3. Fis legitimacy. Connection of Claudian 
and Julian houses. Marriage relationships. § 4. Reaction against policy 
of Gaius. § 5. Revision of the senate. Censorship of Claudius. Ex- 
tension of Roman civitas to Gaul. Increase of patriciate. Extension 
of pomcerium. Religion. Jews. Secular games. § 6. Administra- 
tion of justice. § 7. The xrarium. Plebiscita. § 8. Public works. 
Draining of Fucine lake, and naval spectacle. § 9. Provincial 
administration. Mauretania. § 10. Corbulo on the Rhine. Lower 
Germany. § 11. Upper Germany. § 12. Pannonia. The Suevians. 
§ 13. New provinces. The client kingdoms. Mithradates and the 
kingdom of Bosporus. § 14. Judea and Agrippa. Cos. Byzantium. 
§ 15. Employment of freedmen by Claudius. § 16. Marriage of 
Claudius. Messalina. § 17. Position and influence of the Empress. 
Exile and death of Julia. Destruction of Appius Silanus, Valerius 
Asiaticus, and Poppaea Sabina. § 18. Messalina's intrigue with Silius. 
Their marriage. Stratagem of Narcissus and the freedmen. § 19. 
The orgies of Messalina. Death of Silius and Messalina. § 20. 
Agrippina and her designs. § 21. Her marriage with Claudius. 
Death of Lucius Silanus and Lollia Paulina. § 22. Character of 
Agrippina and her court. § 23. Her schemes for her son. Nero and 


Britannicus. Marriage of Nero and Octavia. Agrippina's influence 
shaken. § 24. Struggle of Narcissus and Agrippina. Destruction of 
Domitia Lepida. § 25. Death of Claudius. § 26. Arrangements of 
Agrippina for the accession of Nero. He is accepted by the guards 
and the senate. § 27. Deification of Claudius. § 28. Seneca's satire, 
ludus de morte Claudii Ccesaris, 

Sect. I. — Accession and Character of Claudius. 

§ 1. Gaius Cjesar was the first of a long list of Roman Emperors 
who were destined to fall by the hands of assassins. His death led 
to a serious crisis, for the conspirators had acted without a thought 
of what was to come, and no one was marked out to step into the 
place of the murdered Emperor. Augustus had formally selected 
Tiberius as his successor, and conferred on him the tribunician power ; 
Tiberius had practically selected Gaius by his testament, but 
Gaius had not either conferred a share of the imperial prerogatives 
on any one, or made a will. Thus it seemed open to tbe senate 
and the Eoman people to put into practice the constitutional 
theory that the Empire was elective. 

As soon as the assassination became known, the consuls Sentius 
Saturninus and Pomponius Secundus ordered the urban cohorts to 
post themselves in various parts of the city, and immediately 
called together the senate to deliberate on what was to be done. 
The fathers met in the temple of Capitoline Jupiter, and not, as 
usual, in the Curia Julia, as though in this building they would have 
been under the influence of the Julian name. They were unanimous 
in denouncing the tyrannical rule of Gaius, in abolishing his un- 
popular taxes, and in promising a donative to the soldiers. But 
they were divided on the more momentous question as to the 
future of the state. Some held that the free Eepublic should be 
restored and the constitution of the Caesars abolished ; others voted 
that the Principate should continue, but in another family, and 
there were not wanting candidates for the supreme place. They 
could come to no agreement, but, before they separated, a decree 
was passed in honour of Cassius Chaarea and the other conspirators, 
and the watchword given 1 y the consuls to the city cohorts was 
Libertas. Chasrea then sent an officer to put to death the Empress 
Cassonia and her infant daughter. 

But the solution of the difficulty did not rest with the senate. 
The praetorian guards had already determined that the Empire was 
not to be abolished, and who the next Emperor was to be. In the 
confusion which followed the assassination, some of these soldiers 
had rushed into the palace in search of plunder, and had discovered, 


hidden behind a curtain, in fear of his life, Claudius, the son of 
Drusus and brother of Germanicus. They greeted him with the 
title Imperator, and carried him off to the praetorian camp. The 
restoration of the Kepublic would have meant the dissolution of the 
guards, and they were naturally resolved to hinder it. Claudius 
wavered before accepting the dignity which was thus thrust upon 
him and of which he had perhaps never dreamt. But the in- 
sistence of the soldiers, the voice of the people who gathered round 
the senate on the following morning, and the counsels of Herod 
Agrippa, who went to and fro between the senate and the camp, 
determined him to yield ; and he promised the guards, when they 
took the oath of allegiance, a donative of 15,000 sesterces (£120) 
each. He was the first of the Caesars who bought the fidelity of the 
soldiers by a donative. It would have been useless for the senate 
to attempt to struggle against the will of the praetorians, even if 
the urban cohorts had continued to support it, but these went 
over to the other side. 

Claudius was then conducted to the palace by the praetorians, 
and he ordered the senate to come to him there. The senators did 
not dare to refuse ; only the conspirators Chaerea and Sabinus held 
out, and protested against the replacement of a madman by an 
idiot. The usual decrees were passed conferring the imperial 
powers upon Claudius, the first, but by no means the last, Koman 
Emperor who was elected by the will of the praetorian guards. 

Chaerea and others of the conspirators were immediately executed. 
Sabinus was pardoned, but killed himself by falling on his sword, 
having declared that he could not survive the accession of another 
Caesar. For all the other acts of the short interregnum a general 
pardon was proclaimed. But the assassination of his nephew had 
made a deep impression on Claudius, and he adopted the practice of 
keeping guards continually pasted round his person, even when he 
sit at table. All persons who were admitted to the imperial 
apartments were searched before they entered. 

§ 2. The new Emperor, Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus*, was 
born at Lugudunum on the day on which the temple of Augustus 
and Rome was dedicated there by his father (10 B.C.). He was thus 
about fifty years of age when he came to the throne. He had 
always been regarded and treated by his family as half an imbecile, 
but his defects seem to have been physical rather than mental. 
His constitution was weak ; his hands trembled ; he halted on one 
leg ; and his speech was thick. Labouring under these disadvantages, , 
he was neglected by his mother, who described him as a "monster," 
and left to the care of servants. His grandmother Li via ignored 
* Full name : Ti. Claudius Drusi f. Caesar Augustus Germanicus. 

41 A.D. 



him. Augustus, indeed, recognised that he was not such a fool as 
he seemed, but slighted him, deeming him worthy of no higher 
dignity than an augurate, and leaving him only a very small 
bequest in his will. Tiberius treated him with undisguised con- 
tempt, and seeing no hope of a public career, Claudius retired to 
the country, devoted himself to literature, and amused himself 
with the society of low people. Under his nephew Gaius he was 
promoted to the dignity of the consulship, and thereby entered the 
senatorial rank. But his wanton kinsman forced him to submit to 
all kinds of indignities and insults. He was slighted in the curia, 
and at the court was the butt of the Emperor's rollicking com- 
panions. The senate selected him as the head of a deputation to 
Gaius in Gaul, and on that occasion he was ducked in the river 
Rhone. He was created priest to Gaius as Jupiter Latiaris, and 
ruined by the enormous expenses which devolved upon him in that 
capacity. Yet, as Gaius had no children, the more farsighted, like 
Herod Agrippa, saw that Claudius might one day be a candidate 
for empire, and took care to maintain friendly relations with him. 

He wrote three large historical works : a history of the Etruscans, 
in twenty Books ; a history of the Carthaginians, in eight Books ; 
and a' history of the Roman state since the battle of Actium, in 
forty-one Books. He also wrote his own biography, in eight Books ; 
a defence of Cicero against the censures of Asinius Gallus ; a treatise 
on dice-playing, and a Greek comedy. The Etruscan and Car- 
thaginian histories were also written in Greek. He studied grammar, 
and attempted to enrich the Latin alphabet by three new letters,* 
which, however, did not survive his reign. But though he was 
crammed with antiquarian lore, he had little judgment in applying 
it, and the circumstances of his early life did not tend to make him^ 
practical. Yet it was a gross misrepresentation to say that he was 
half-witted. When he came to the throne he surprised all by 
showing considerable talent for administration, as well as a genuine 
anxiety for the welfare of the state. He was a weak-minded 
pedant, and lived under the influence of his wives and his freed- 
men, but he was far from being an imbecile. He and James I. of 
England, to whom he has aptly been compared, are the two 
notorious examples of pedants on the throne. They were alike 
also in their ungainly figures, coarse manners, and want of personal 
dignity. The face of Claudius, as represented in his busts, was 
handsome, and has a look of pain or weariness, which gives it 
a certain interest. 

* The most useful of these novelties 
was the distinction of u and v, by using an 
inverted digamma for the latter sound. 

We meet this symbol frequently in the 
inscriptions of his reign. Thus ampliavit 
was written ampliajit. 


§ 3. Claudius did not belong, strictly speaking, to the house of 
the Caesars. He had not been transferred into the Julian gens, 
like his uncle Tiberius and his brother Germanicus. 

When therefore he adopted the name " Csesar," it was in strict- 
ness no longer a family name, but an imperial title. Yet Claudius 
had been so closely associated with the family of the Caesars that 
his assumption of the Julian cognomen may have hardly seemed 
an innovation. The Claudians and Julians had been so closely 
connected since the marriage of Augustus and Livia that they 
were almost regarded as a single house. It was the policy oi 
Claudius to emphasize his connection with Augustus. He caused 
the divine honours, which Tiberius had refused, to be granted to 
his grandmother Livia Augusta. His position was perhaps further 
strengthened by his marriage with Valeria Messalina, who was a 
descendant of Octavia, the sister of Augustus.* Their daughter 
Octavia was intended to be the bride of L. Junius Silanus, who was 
a great-great-grandson of Augustus; and his other daughter, 
Antonia, by a former wife, was affianced to Cn. Pompeius Magnus, 
who was connected through his parents with several distinguished 
families, f 

§ 4. The reign of Claudius was marked by a reaction against 
that of Gaius, as that of Gaius had been marked by a reaction 
against that of Tiberius. The new Emperor showed himself 
clement and moderate. The acts of Gaius were annulled ; the 
estates which he had confiscated were restored to their owners, and 
the statues of which he had robbed the temples of Greece and Asia 
were sent back to their homes. Exiles and prisoners who were 
suffering under the charge of treason, were pardoned, and Julia 
,and Agrippina, the nieces of the Emperor, were recalled from the 
banishment to which they had been condemned by their brother. 
The new year's presents, which Gaius had demanded from his 
subjects, were forbidden, and the Emperor accepted the inheritance 
of no man who had relatives. But the aristocrats were not at first 
contented with the rule of one whom they had been taught to 
regard with a pitying contempt. The fate of Gaius showed how 
easy it was to overthrow an Emperor, and there were not wanting 
aspirants to the supreme power. A conspiracy was formed to strike 
down Claudius and set in his place L. Annius Vinicianus, a promi- 
nent senator. The movement was supported by Furius Camillus 
Scribonianus, governor of Dalmatia, who undertook to march into 
Italy at the head of the two legions under his command, and sent 
a message of insolent defiance to Claudius, who was so terrified 

* See below, $ 16. 

■f The Calpurnii Pisones, and the Licinii Crassi, as well as the Pompeii. 


that "he thought of resigning the Empire. But the soldiers refused 
to follow their commander when he announced his intention, and 
he was forced to fly to one of the islands off the coast, to escape 
their anger. The legions (VII. and XI.) w 7 ere rewarded for their 
loyalty, and a decree of the senate conferred upon each the titles 
of Claudian, Pious, Faithful. The chief conspirators were pun- 
ished by death or committed suicide. 

Sect. II. — Administbation of Claudius. 

§ 5. Claudius endeavoured to model his statesmanship on that oi 
Augustus. He set himself to restore the relations of cordiality 
which had subsisted between senate and Princeps under the 
first Emperor. The division of power between them was strictly 
maintained, and Claudius was prompted by his passion for antiquity 
to preserve the dignity of the senate. He reserved for members of 
that ancient order special seats in the Circus Maximus. The 
influence of the senate was also increased by the rivalry which 
existed between the freedmen and the wives of the Emperor, each 
party seeking- a support in the authority of the senate. The list of 
the order had not been revised since the reign of Augustus, and 
Claudius undertook the unpopular task, which his two predecessors 
had omitted. The task was necessary, but like most things which 
Claudius did, he performed it in "a manner which excited ridicule. 
Instead of simply assuming censorial power, he revived (47, 48 a.d.)* 
the office of censor — a title which Augustus had avoided — and held 
a lustrum. His coMeague in the office was L. Yitellius. The act 
was harmless, but it seemed to savour of the antiquarian on the 
throne, and when the zealous censor issued fifty edicts in one day, 
there was matter for jest in Rome. But useful business was done. 
Many new members were admitted into* the senate, and the 
equestrian order was also revised. Claudius showed that he had not 
forgotten the land of his birth, by paving the way for extending 
the jus honorum to the three Gauls, so far as they already possessed 
the civitas sine suffragio. Natives of Gallia Narbonensis, of Spain 
and Africa, had already been admitted to the senate, and the 
magistracies ; Claudius extended the privilege to the iEdui, who, as 
the first Gallic allies of Rome, were called the " brothers of the 
Roman people/' This mark of favour came fitly from the son of 
Drusus, the brother of Germanicus, and the conqueror of Britain. 
The speech which Claudius pronounced on this occasion before the 

* He appears as censor designate in 47 
a.d., but it is uncertain whether the cen- 
sorship began in this, or not till the 

following year. He laid it down before 
the autumn of 48 a.d. 


senate was characteristic of the man. Two considerable fragments 
of it have been preserved on bronze tablets, which were dug up at 
Lyons, and we can judge from these remains that the oration was 
long and rambling, displaying knowledge of the ancient history of 
Rome, which bore very little on the matter in hand, and illustrating 
that want of sense of proportion, which made even the best acts of 
Claudius seem a little absurd. After a long and tedious historical 
disquisition, he suddenly breaks out in an address to himself which 
is simply grotesque : " But it is high time for thee, Tiberius 
Csesar Germanicus, to unfold to the conscript fathers the aim of 
thy discourse." 

Like Augustus, Claudius was specially empowered by the senate 
(in the year of his censorship) to increase the number of patrician 
families, which were gradually dwindling, with a view to the 
conservation of religious ceremonies. This was a work thoroughly 
congenial to the spirit of the antiquarian sovran. He also received 
powers to enlarge the Pomcerium, so as to include the Aventine 
hill, which had hitherto lain outside the limits of the city in its 
narrower sense. As an imitator of Augustus and a student of 
Etruscan archseology, he naturally made the maintenance of religion 
a special care, and did away with the oriental rites which had come 
into practice at the court in the reign of Gaius. The Jews were 
tolerated in Rome until their seditions caused him to expel them 
again, as they had been expelled by Tiberius, In the eight 
hundredth year of the city, which fell in this reign (47 a.d.), 
Claudius as Pontifex Maximus celebrated the Ludi Sseculares, though 
they had been celebrated sixty-three years before by Augustus. 
He founded a college of sixty haruspices for the official main- 
tenance of Etruscan auguries. But in his zeal for religion he did 
not neglect the dictates of worldly wisdom, and limited the number 
of holidays, which interfered with the course of business. 

§ 6. Claudius also imitated his great model in devoting himself 
assiduously to the administration of justice. He used to sit 
patiently, hour after hour, through tedious judicial investigations in 
the open forum, or in the Basilica Julia. But while we may 
recognise his good intentions, it is doubtful whether such personal 
activity of a sovran in administering justice is not more harmful 
than beneficial. He annulled the laws of treason, suppressed the 
practice of delation, and promised that no Roman citizen should be 
submitted to the pain of torture. He did away with the innovation 
introduced by Gaius, that slaves might give evidence against their 
masters. In connection with these measures, which were designed 
to preserve the dignity of the Roman citizen, it may be mentioned 
that he meted out strict punishment to those who claimed the 


franchise on false pretences. He also regulated marriages between 
free women and slaves, and defined the legal position of their 
children as servile. 

§ 7. Some important administrative changes were made in the 
reign of Claudius. Judicial authority was committed to the 
procurators, who managed the affairs of the fiscus in the provinces. 
Thus, suits concerning fiscal debts were withdrawn from the 
ordinary tribunals ; but those who were not satisfied with the 
award of the imperial procurator could appeal to the Emperor. 
Claudius also made a new arrangement for the administration of 
the serarium. It will be remembered that Augustus had transferred 
this treasury fiom the urban quaestors to two jprxtores serarii. 
Claudius restored it to the qusestors, but with a modification of 
the old arrangement. The two treasurers were selected from the 
quasstors, not by lot, but by the choice of the Emperor, and they 
held office for three years, under the title of qusestores- xrarii 
Batumi (44 a.d.). The tendency to return to old constitutional 
forms was also manifested in the revival of the legislative power 
of the comitia of the people. Some of the laws of Claudius took 
the form of plebiscita. But it was the unpractical experiment of 
an antiquarian,* and all his important legislation took the form of 

§ 8. His reign was distinguished by the execution of works of 
public utilit}'. He completed the aqueduct which had been begun 
by Gaius, and left unfinished; and from him it derived the name 
of Aqua Claudia. A much greater work was the construction of 
the Portus Romanus. When Claudius came to the throne, the 
public granaries were empty, and Rome was threatened with a 
famine. The immediate necessity was relieved by extending privi- 
leges to private trade in corn ; but the scarcity continued, and one 
of the chief and abiding causes was the want of a good haven close 
to Rome. The mouth of the Tiber was silted up with sand, and 
the corn-ships from Egypt were obliged to anchor at Puteoli. 
Claudius supplied this great want by making a new haven, a little 
above the well-nigh deserted port of Ostia, and connected with the 
river by an artificial channel. The haven was formed by two 
immense moles built out into the sea, and a lighthouse was erected 
at the entrance. This undertaking involved a large outlay, but it 
was of great and permanent utility. A still vaster enterprise was 
the draining of the Fucine Lake in the land of the Mar si, but the 
cost and the labour were not recompensed by the results. The 
agriculture of the Marsians suffered constantly from the swelling of 
the waters of the lake, and Claudius undertook to hinder this 

f It was tried once again by Nerva, as we shall see. 


cakmity by constructing a tunnel,* three miles in length through 
Monte Salviano, to carry away the overflow into the river Liris. 
The work of thirty thousand men for eleven years (41-^1 a.d.) 
was spent on this design, but the tunnel did not prove permanently 
efficient, like that which drained the Alban Lake. Claudius cele- 
brated the completion of the work by a mimic naval battle on the 
lake, like one which Augustus had exhibited in an artificial basin 
in the Transtiberine suburb of Rome, but on a much larger scale. 
Claudius equipped vessels of three and four banks of oars, with 
nineteen thousand men. He lined the shores of the lake with a 
continuous platform of rafts to prevent the galley-slaves from 
escaping, but full space was left for the operations of a sea-fight. 
Divisions of prastorian cohorts and cavalry were posted on the rafts, 
with a breastwork in front of them, from which they could direct 
missiles against any of the naval gladiators who tried to escape. 
An immense multitude of people, both from Rome and the neigh- 
bouring towns, had gathered, both to see the wonderful spectacle, 
and to show their respect for the Emperor ; and the banks, the slopes, 
and the hill-tops were crowded with spectators, so that the scene 
resembled a vast theatre. The Emperor, dressed in a splendid 
military cloak (paludamentum) , and his wife Agrippina, also wearing 
a military cloak, presided. Though the combatants were condemned 
criminals, they fought bravely, and when much blood had been 
shed, they were allowed to separate. The story is told that when 
they saluted Claudius with the words, Have, imperator, morituri 
te salutant, (" Hail, Emperor ! men doomed to die greet thee "), 
he answered with aut non (" Or not " doomed to die) ; and they, 
taking the words as a pardon, refused to fight. Claudius at first 
thought of having them all massacred, but afterwards, going round 
in person, induced them to fight by threats and exhortations. 

Sect. III. — The Provinces under Claudius. 

§ 9. The gradual elevation of the provinces to a political equality 
with Italy is one of the features of the imperial period. The 
extension of the ius honorum to Gaul, which has been already 
mentioned, was an important step in this direction, and the reign 
of Claudius was marked by a tendency to bestow the Roman 
citizenship on provincial communities. He was ridiculed, in a 
humorous satire written after his death by the philosopher Seneca, 
for having resolved to see all the Greeks, Gauls, Spaniards and 
Britons, dressed in the Roman toga. He introduced many changes 
* See under the article " Emissarium " in Sinith's Dictionary of Antiquities, 


in the administration of the subject lands, both the provinces and 
the dependent kingdoms. In the north the Empire gained a new 
province by the conquest of Britain, which will be recounted in 
another chapter ; and this led to an increase of the army by two 
new legions. The prgetorian cohorts were also increased in this 
reign from nine to twelve. Mauretania bad to be conquered anew 
at the other extremity of the Empire. The inhabitants had rushed 
to arms after the execution of their king Ptolemy, under the 
leadership of iEdemon, one of his freedmen. The governor, 
Publius Gabinius, was not equal to coping with the rebellion ; but 
his successor, C. Suetonius Paulinus, who became famous after- 
wards by his campaign in Britain, crossed Mount Atlas and went 
as far south as the river Gir, reducing the Maurusian tribes 
(42 a.d.). This expedition, however, was not decisive, and the 
struggle seems to have lasted until 45 a.d., when Lucius Galba 
(who was afterwards Emperor) became proconsul of Africa, and 
Cn. Hosidius Geta commanded in Numidia. When order was 
restored, chiefly through the energy of Geta, Mauretania was 
divided into two provinces, separated by the river Mattua. The 
western was distinguished as Tingitana, from the town Tingi; the 
eastern as Canadensis, from the town Jol Caesarea. Each was 
governed by a procurator; but in case of necessity they were 
united under the authority of a legatus. Another change in the 
western half of the Empire was the enlargement of the little 
prefecture of the Cottian Alps, and the elevation of its prefect, 
Julius Cottius, to the rank of king. 

§ 10. Claudius conquered Britain, but he did not essay the other 
enterprise which had once seemed expedient for the protection of- 
Gaul ; he did not try to repeat the conquest of Germany, which had 
busied his father Drusus, and his brother Germanicus. There 
was, however, in his reign some righting beyond the Rhine. 
Domitius Corbulo, an able soldier, the rival of Suetonius Paulinus, 
was appointed legatus of Lower Germany. He was the half- 
brother of Cassonia, the wife of Gains, in whose reign he had been 
entrusted with the task of inspecting the condition of the roads 
in Italy. On reaching the Rhine he set himself to check the 
piracy which had been practised in recent years by the German 
peoples along the coast of the North Sea. He punished the 
Frisians, who had refused to pay the stipulated tribute, and made 
an expedition against the Chauci (47 a.d.), who had dared to make 
incursions into the Lower province. But as he was about to 
establish a fortress in the land of that people, he received orders 
from the Emperor to desist from his undertaking, and leave the 
Chauci to themselves. The enemies of Corbulo had represented 


that he was only seeking his own glory. But in any case it was 
the policy of the government at this time to keep the Grermans in 
order by diplomacy rather than by arms. Thus the Cherusci, who 
had degenerated since the days of Arminius, besought the Emperor 
to provide them with a chief. Claudius sent Italicus, the son of 
Flavus and nephew of Arminius. For a time the youth was 
popular, but he soon became suspected and disliked on account of 
his Koman manners, and had great difficulty in maintaining his 
position. This was just what Eome desired ; it was her policy to 
promote discord and dissension among the Germans. 

Corbulo returned to his province disgusted and disappointed. 
" How happy were the Koman command' rs in old days," he is 
reported to have murmured when he received the imperial com- 
mand. As the soldiers were not to fight, he employed them in the 
task of catting a great canal, connecting the Mosa (Maas) with the 
northern branch of the Rhine, parallel to the coast. This supplied 
the place of a road, and has lasted till the present day, running 
from Rotterdam to Leiden. The reign of Claudius was also dis- 
tinguished in the history of the Rhine lands by the elevation of 
the Oppidum Ubiorum to the rank of a military colony (50 A.D.), — 
Colonia Claudia Agrippinensis, called after his fourth wife the 
Empress Agrippina, who was born there. Colonia, as it was simply 
called — and is still called so in the form Cologne or Coin — became an 
important centre of Roman civilisation. It is possible that another 
illustrious Roman colony, Augusta Treverorum — Trier on the 
Mosel — was also founded under the auspices of Claudius.* One 
work which had been begun by his father it devolved upon him to 
complete. This was the great road connecting Italy with the 
Upper Danube, passing over the Brenner Alps, the Via Claudia 

§ 11. There, were also hostilities in the Upper province during 
the reign of Claudius. It was found necessary to make an ex- 
pedition against the Chatti, and the last of the three eagles lost by 
Varus was on this occasion recovered. Some years later (50 a.d.) 
predatory bands of Chatti invaded the province, which was 
then governed by Publius Pomponius Secundus. He ordered the 
Vangiones and the Nemetes — tribes which dwelled on the left bank 
of the Rhine about Borbetomagus (Worms), and Noviomagus 
(Speyer) — along with the auxiliary cavalry, to intercept the retreat 
of the invaders and attack them while they were dispersed. The 
troops were divided into two columns. One of these cut off the 
plunderers on their return, when after a carouse they were heavy 

* But some refer it to Augustus himself, while others place it as late as the reign of 


with sleep; and some survivors of the disaster of Varus were 
delivered from captivity. The other column inflicted greater loss 
on the foe in a regular battle, and returned laden with spoil to 
Mount Taunus, where Pomponius was waiting with his legions. 
The triumphal ornaments were decreed to Pomponius, who, 
however, was more celebrated for his poems than for his military 

§ 12. On the Pannonian frontier, Claudius was called upon to 
intervene in the affairs of the Suevi. After the overthrow of 
Maroboduus, Vannius had been recognised as king of the Suevic 
realm, which included Bohemia, the land of the Marcomanni, and 
also the modern Moravia, the land of the Quadi. For about thirty 
years Yannius reigned in great prosperity, popular with his 
countrymen, whom he enriched by plunder and the tribute of 
subject tribes. But long possession made him a tyrant, and domestic 
hatred, combined with the enmity of neighbouring peoples, proved 
his ruin. In 50 a.d. a plot was formed for his overthrow by his 
nephews Yangio and Sido, who were supported by Yibilius, king of 
the Hermunduri, a people who lived west of Bohemia. Claudius 
declined to send Roman troops to protect his vassal, and would only 
promise a safe refuge to Yannius in case he were expelled. But he 
instructed Palpellius Hister, the legatus of Pannonia, to have his 
legions with some chosen auxiliaries posted along the banks of the 
Danube — as a rule their station was on the Drave — to be a' support 
to Yannius if he were conquered, and a terror to the conquerors. The 
enemies of Yannius were supported by an immense force of Lugii, a 
Suevic tribe which probably dwelled in the modern Silesia. To 
oppose this large force, Yannius had obtained some cavalry from the 
Iazyges (a Sarmatian race who lived between the Danube and the 
Theiss), to support his own infantry. He wished to protract the 
war by maintaining himself in fortresses ; but the Iazyges, who 
could not endure a siege, brought on an engagement; Yannius was 
compelled to come down from his forts, and was defeated. He then 
fled to the Roman fleet on the Danube, and grants of land in 
Pannonia were assigned to him and his followers. Yangio and 
Sido divided his kingdom, and remained loyal to Rome. 

§ 13. In the east, the list of provinces was augmented by the 
conversion of the kingdom of Thrace into a province governed by a 
procurator (46 a.d.). The free confederation of the cities of Lycia 
was also abolished and that country united to the province of 
Pamphyiia (43 a.d.). This measure led to the complete Hellenisa- 
tion of Lycia. Macedonia and Achaia, which Tiberius had placed 
under the common control of an imperial legatus, were restored by 
Claudius to the senate, and again governed by praetorian proconsuls. 


Now that Moesia was separately administered, they were girt round 
by a chain of frontier provinces which secured them against hostile 
inroads, so that they could be safely entrusted to the senate. 

The affairs of the small dependent kingdoms in the east were 
ordered anew. Antiochus IV. was restored to the throne of 
Commagene, which Gaius had given him and then capriciously 
taken away. Special attention was attracted to the kingdom of 
Bosporus and the north-eastern shores of the Euxine. The history 
of these regions is so little known that the glimpse of them which 
we get now is welcome. In 41 a.d. Claudius transferred the 
kingdom of Bosporus, which Gains had bestowed on Polemo, to a 
certain Mithradates, who claimed to be descended from the great 
opponent of Rome ; and Polemo received some districts in Cilicia as 
a compensation. But a few years later (45 a.d.) he was deposed, 
for what reason is unknown, and his brother, a youth named Cotys, 
was set up in his stead and at first supported by a considerable 
Roman force under Aulus Didius Gallus, who was probably governor 
of Moesia. When the Romans departed, leaving only a few cohorts 
under a knight named Julius Aquila, Mithradates saw his op- 
portunity. Collecting a band of men, who were exiles like himself, 
he overthrew the king of the Dandaridae, a people which dwelled 
near the Hypanis(the Kuban), and established himself as ruler over 
them. Cotys and Aquila were alarmed at the prospect of an 
invasion by Mithradates at the head of the Dandarids, especially as 
the Siraci, another obscure people of those regions, had assumed a 
hostile attitude. Accordingly they sought the alliance of Eunones, 
king of the Aorsi, another race whose exact home is uncertain It 
was resolved to anticipate the designs of the dethroned king of 
Bosporus by attacking him in his new Dandarid realm. The army 
of Cotys consisted of the Roman cohorts, native Bosporan troops, 
and cavalry supplied by Eunones. Mithradates, having no adequate 
forces to oppose to this attack, was defeated, and Soza, the town of 
Dandarica, was occupied by the invaders. The victors then 
proceeded against the Siraci, and laid siege to their town, named 
Uspe, which was built on high ground and also fortified by art. 
The place was easily taken, and the inhabitants, although they had 
offered submission, were massacred. After the fall of Uspe, the 
king of the Siraci deserted the cause of Mithradates, and prostrated 
himself before the image of the Emperor. The Romans were very 
proud of this expedition. They had advanced within three days' 
journey of the banks of the Tanais, which in their geography was 
regarded as one of the limits of the known world. But as they 
returned by sea, some ships were wrecked on the shores of the Tauri, 
and the barbarians slew one of the prefects and some of the soldiers. 

'44 a.d. JUDEA. 243 

For Mitbradates it only remained to throw himself on the mercy 
of some protector. Not trusting his brother Cotys, and there being 
no Roman officer of influence on the spot, he gave himself up to 
Euri ones, king of the Aorsi. Eunones undertook his cause, and sent 
envoys to Claudius, begging mercy for the captive. After some 
hesitation, the Emperor decided on exercising clemency ; Mithradates 
was conducted to Rome, and is said to have spoken bold words in 
the imperial presence : " I have returned to you of my own free will ; 
if you do not believe it, let me go, and look for me ! " The fate of 
Mithradates is uncertain, but he was probably kept, like Maroboduus, 
in some Italian city. 

§ 14. But the most important change was the restoration of the 
kingdom of Herod. Judea, which since his death had been governed 
by a Roman procurator, was given along with Samaria to his 
grandson Agrippa, who had played a prominent part in securing 
the accession of Claudius. This change was at least as much a 
matter of policy as a reward to Agrippa. It was intended to soothe 
the bad feeling against the Roman government which had been 
stirred up among the Jews under the reign of Gaius. Two edicts 
were issued, according, first to the Jews of Alexandria, and then to 
the Jews of the whole Empire, the free exercise of their worship. 
Agrippa was very popular with the Jews, and he was also popular 
with the Greeks. At Jerusalem he was a Jew ; at Caesarea he was 
a gentile. On two occasions the governor of Syria, Vibius Marsus, 
was obliged to interfere with his policy ; in 42 a.d , to prevent him 
from fortifying the new town of Jerusalem, and in the following 
year, to put a stop to a suspicious congress of kings — Antiochus of 
Commagene, Cotys of Little Armenia, Sampsigeram of Emesa, 
Polemo of Pontus — who had assembled at Tiberias to meet Agrippa. 
But the restored kingdom of Judea was of short duration. Agrippa 
died, eaten up of worms, in 44 a.d., and his son, who was kept as 
a hostage at Rome, was not deemed competent to succeed him. 
Judea was placed again under the government of a procurator, but, 
to assuage the discontent of the Jews and prevent disturbances, the 
nomination of the high priest and the administration of the treasure 
of the temple were not assigned to him but to king Herod of the 
Syrian Chalcis, a brother of Agrippa. At this time Judea was much 
disturbed by brigands as well as by the fanatical hatred of the Jews 
against the Pagans ; and the constant interference of the governor of 
Syria was required. The administration of Judea was one of the 
most difficult problems that the Romans had to deal with ; and they 
committed the error of not stationing sufficiently large military 
forces in that province. 

In 53 a.d., Claudius granted immunity from tribute to the i&tend 


of Cos, as a personal favour to his physician Xenophon, who 
belonged to the Asclepiadas, a family of medical priests, who lived 
in that island. The Emperor made one of his characteristic 
speeches in the senate, going into the ancient history of the Coans, 
and then letting out the true motive of his proposal by mentioning 
Xenophon, their distinguished countryman. About the same time, 
tribute was remitted for five years to Byzantium, which had suffered 
severely from the Bosporan war and from disturbances in Thrace 
when that country was made a province. The history of the war 
for Armenia must be reserved for another chapter. 

§ 15. It may be asked how far the administration of the Empire 
was guided by the mind of Claudius, and how far the measures of 
his reign were due to his advisers. On this it is impossible to 
speak with certainty. There is a curious contrast between his 
rather ridiculous personality and the not inconsiderable positive 
results of his reign. However much he owed to his able councillors, 
it is certain that he impressed many of his measures with his 
personal stamp. If he was weak minded, easily influenced by women 
and freedmen, immoderate in sensual indulgence, and fond of wine 
and gambling, - it must not be forgotten that he was well educated. 
Nor is it fair to blame him for the prominent part which the freed- 
men of his household played in the administration of the state. It 
must be remembered that the Emperor had neither official ministers 
nor a regular civil service at his disposal. He was supposed to be 
his own secretary of state and his own treasurer ; and he was 
therefore obliged to have recourse to the services of his freedmen for 
carrying on the business of the state. Augustus himself had 
depended on freedmen after the death of his advisers Agrippa and 
Maecenas. , Tiberius and Gaius also employed them, but did not 
admit them to their confidence. They occupied, however, such a 
position that their influence over a weak-minded Princeps was 
almost a matter of course. This happened in the case of Claudius. 
He needed councillors to lean upon, and the freedmen were there, at 
his hand. His most trusted advisers were Narcissus, who held the 
post of ab epistulis, or secretary ; Pallas, who was the a rationibus, 
or steward and accountant ; Callistus, the a libellis, who received all 
petitions preferred to the Emperor '; and Polybius, who assisted his 
master in nis studies, and had himself won a place in literature by- 
translating Homer into Latin and Virgil into Greek. These Greeks 
were well-educated men, capable and versatile ; and it would be an 
error of prejudice to ridicule the government of Claudius as being 
conducted by a company of menials. They were doubtless far 
more competent to perform the duties of their offices and to advise 
the Emperor than the officials of equestrian and senatorian rank. 

41-48 a.d. 



But in consequence of their position they were overhearing and 
avaricious. Having no social position they sought a compensation 
in amassing wealth, and their administration was consequently 
marked by the grossest corruption. They sold appointments to the 
highest bidders ; they compassed the confiscation of the estates of 
nobles on false or frivolous charges ; they extorted bribes by 

Sect. IV. — Messalina. 

§ 16. In these malpractices the freedmen were .aided and abetted 
by the Empress Messalina. In his youth Claudius had been 
betrothed to iEmilia Lepida, daughter of the youoger Julia, but 
the marriage was broken off on account of her mother's misconduct. 
He lost a second bride, Li via Camilla, through her death on the 
wedding-day, and finally married Plautia Urgulanilla, daughter of 
Plautius Silvanus, who had distinguished himself in Illyricum. 
Plautiaf was repudiated on account of an intrigue with a freedman, 
and Claudius then married iElia Psetina, by whom he had one 
daughter. iElia was also divorced, but for no serious cause, and 
(about 38 a.d.) Claudius took a third wife, as has been already 
mentioned, Valeria Messalina. This remarkable woman was 
descended, on the father's side, from the race of the orator Messalla 
Corvinus ; but by her mother, Domitia Lepida, she was connected 
with the family of the Caesars. Claudius and Lepida were 
cousins, being both the grandchildren of Antonius the triumvir 
and Octavia, the sister of Augustus. The name of Messalina 
has become proverbial for unblushing sensuality. The tales that 
Have been preserved of her vices and her orgies bear on them the 
marks of exaggeration, but there can be no doubt that her conduct 
was dissolute, and that she exercised an evil influence on the women 
of Eome. She is said to have carried on criminal intrigues with 
the Emperor's freedmen, especially with Narcissus. It seems 
certain that she and they combined to hoodwink Claudius. They 
concealed her love affairs with others, and she concealed their pecula- 
tions. While Messalina indulged her amorous caprices, Narcissus 
and Pallas built up such great fortunes, that when Claudius once 
complained of want of money, he was told that he would be 
rich enough if those two freedmen took him into partnership. 

* The wealth of Pallas was proverbial, 
Juvenal, Sat. i. 108 : Ego possideo plus 

f By Plautia Claudius had two children : 
Drusus, who was betrothed to a daughter 

of Sejanus, but died in infancy; and a 
daughter whom he caused to be exposed 
at the age of five months on account of 
her mother's guilt. 


§ 17. The position of Messalina seemed secured by the circum- 
stance that she had borne her husband a son, Tiberius Claudius 
Germanicus, who afterwards received the name Britannicus in 
memory of the conquest of Britain. He was born in February, 
shortly after his father's accession, and this was the first case of a 
son born to a reigning Csesar. But Claudius declined the proposal 
to confer either upon his son the title Augustus, or upon the 
Empress that of Augusta.* But although Messalina was not raised 
to the rank which had been held by Livia, she received conspicuous 
honour by the decree which permitted her to ride in the carpentum, 
the use of which was still generally restricted to persons holding 
priestly offices at solemn festivals. A like permission had been 
already granted to the Emperor's mother Antonia. 

It has been already stated that Claudius recalled his nieces, Julia 
and Agrippina, from exile. Agrippina's husband, Cn. Domitius 
Ahenobarbus, was dead, and some time after her return she married 
Crispus Passienus. Julia was espoused to M. Vinicius. Both ladies 
were young and attractive ; and, as the daughters of Germanicus 
and sisters of Gaius, they both exercised influence and awakened 
suspicion at the court of Claudius. Agrippina avoided the dangers 
which surrounded her, but Julia's marked attentions to her uncle 
excited the jealousy of Messalina; she was driven again into 
banishment, and died of starvation. The philosopher Seneca, noted 
for his wealth as well as for his writings, was banished at the same 
time to Corsica, as a lover of Julia ; but, strange to say, his estates 
were not confiscated. In the following year (42 a.d,) a far more 
glaring act of injustice was committed to satisfy the vengeance of 
Messalina. A distinguished nobleman, Appius Silanus, of the Junian 
gens, had rejected the licentious advances of the Empress, and she 
determined to destroy him, although he had been recently married 
to her mother Domitia Lepida. As there was no possible ground 
of charge against him, Messalina and her accomplice Narcissus 
devised a curious plot. Narcissus entered the Emperor's chamber 
early one morning, and told in accents of alarm that he had dreamt 
the previous night that Claudius was murdered by Silanus. 
Messalina then said that she had been visited by the same dream. 
Claudius, weak and superstitious, was terrified by the startling 
coincidence, and before he had time to recover from his fright, 
Silanus himself appeared, according to an appointment which the 
Emperor had made with him. But Claudius in his bewilderment 
forgot the appointment, and saw in the sudden appearance of 
Silanus a confirmation of the suspicions which had been aroused by 
the dreams. Messalina and Narcissus pressed their advantage, and 
* The title Augusta, however, was freely given to Messalina in the provinces. 

41-48 a.d. MESSALINA AND SILIUS 247 

easily persuaded the deceived Emperor to issue an order for the 
immediate execution of Silanus. 

If this tale can be trusted, it shows how unscrupulous the 
Empress and the freedmen were in compassing their ends, and how 
completely the Emperor was dominated by their influence. Many 
other conspicuous victims were sacrificed to the jealousy or 
covetousness of Messalina. Among them was Poppsea Sabina, said 
to be the most beautiful woman of the day, the wife of L. Cornelius 
Scipio. Her real offence was that she tried to fascinate Mnester, a 
dancer with whom Messalina was in love. But the charge preferred 
against her was that she committed adultery with Valerius 
Asiaticus, a nobleman of wealth and influence, who was one 
of the consuls of the year (47 a.d.). He was brought into the 
trial because Messalina coveted the gardens of Lucullus on the 
Pincian hill, which he had inherited. At the same time he was 
accused of treasonable designs, and was given no opportunity to 
defend himself before the senate. The trial took place privately in 
the palace ; sentence was passed on the accused, and he was allowed 
to choose his own death. He adopted the manner of suicide which 
was then in fashion, and, after bathing and supping, cut open his 
veins and let himself bleed to death. Poppsea put an end to her 
own life, before the trial was concluded. 

§ 18. So far the plans of Messalina and those of the freedmen 
had not clashed. The interests of the latter were not threatened by 
an intrigue with the dancer Mnester or by the confiscation of the 
gardens of Asiaticus. But when she engaged in an intrigue with 
a Koman noble, Gaius Silius, the case was very different. For such 
a connection was clearly a menace to the throne. A man in the 
position of Silius would hardly have suffered himself to be drawn 
into an intrigue with a woman of Messalina's evil reputation, if he 
had not been urged by motives of ambition. But the interests of 
the freedmen were bound up in their master's life, and his overthrow 
would have almost certainly meant their ruin. They determined that 
Gaius Silius should not attain to the Principate, and, as Messalina 
refused to listen to their warnings, they brought about her 
fall (48 A.D.). 

The Empress, infatuated with her new lover, induced him to 
divorce his wife, and promised to wed him after the death of 
Claudius, whose weak constitution might not be expected to hold 
out much longer. But at length Silius, weary of his ambiguous and 
dangerous position, and apprehensive, perhaps, of the constancy of 
his paramour, urged her to consent to the bold step of removing 
Claudius. He undertook to adopt Britannicus, and promised to 
reign in his name and as his guardian. Messalina, however, was 


not anxious to gratify his wishes. She feared that when Silius 
reached the goal of his ambition he might spurn her from him on 
account of her licentiousness. Nevertheless she felt such pleasure 
in trampling upon public opinion and outraging morality, that she 
consented to celebrate a formal marriage with her lover. Claudius 
was just then about to set forth for Ostia, but before he started 
he was assured by diviners that some evil was destined to befal 
" the husband of Messalina." To avert evil from his own head, he 
was induced to sanction a pretended marriage between his wife and 
another. Gains Silius was chosen to be the sham bridegroom; 
the betrothal took place in the Emperor's presence, and he himself 
signed the marriage contract. He then started for Ostia, but 
Messalina remained behind on a plea of indisposition, and, incredible 
as it may seem, celebrated her marriage with Silius with all the 
customary festivities.* 

It was an anxious moment for the freedmen, Narcissus, Pallas, 
and Callistu*. The destruction of Graius Silius must at all hazards 
be effected, and it was necessary to set cautiously to work. The 
influence which Messalina still possessed had been recently shown 
by the sentence of death passed on Polybius, who had attempted to 
interfere between her and her lover. So Narcissus laid a plan to 
take her unawares, and ensure her fall before she could obtain an 
interview with her husband. He suborned two women, who were 
intimate with Claudius to awaken him to the knowledge of his 
strange situation. Narcissus was then, according to the pre- 
arranged plot, summoned to the Emperor's presence, and confirmed 
the strange tale of the marriage of Messalina. " Did Claudius," he 
asked, "know that he had been divorced by his own wife? that 
the people, the senate, the soldiers had witnessed the marriage of 
Silius ? was he still unaware that, uuless he acted promptly, the 
city was in the hands of the husband of Messali'na ? " The Emperor 
could hardly believe the story, but others of the household bore 
testimony to its truth, and he was urged to hurry back to "Rome 
with all speed, and secure himself in the praetorian camp. Utterly 
bewildered and frightened, Claudius let his councillors do with him 
what they would, and on his way back to Rome he kept continually 
asking, " Am I the Emperor ? Is Silius a private citizen ? " 
Narcissus distrusted Lucius Geta, one of the two prefects of the 
praetorian guards, as a friend of Messalina. He therefore induced 

* Juvenal, when enlarging on the 
theme that beauty is a dangerous gift, 
adduces the case of Silius, as one whose 
ruin was due to his good looks, and draws 
a picture of the marriage (Sat., x. 331 sqq.y. 
Optimus hie et formosissimus idem 

Gentis patriciae rapitur miser extinguendus 
Messalinae oculis ; dudum sedet ilia parato 
Flammeolo Tyriusque palam genialis in 

Sternitur, et ritu decies centena dabuntul 
Antiquo, veniet cum signatoribus auspeXi 

48 a.d. FALL OF MESSALINA. 249 

Claudius to commit to himself the command of the guards for a 
single day. On obtaining the consent of the Emperor, he sent orders 
to Rome that the house of Silius should be occupied, and all who 
were present arrested. He obtained a seat in the carriage of the 
Emperor, lest the two companions of Claudius, Vitelliusand Largus, 
should weaken his resolution. L. Vitellius, who had gained 
distinction in the east under Tiberius, and had worked himself 
into the favour of Gaius by unscrupulous flattery, carefully 
abstained from committing himself to an opinion. To the com- 
plaints of Claudius he merely said, "How scandalous! how 
horrible ! " leaving the freedman to bear all the responsibility. 

§ 19. Meanwhile in the house of Silius, the Empress was cele- 
brating a vintage festival. The grape-juice flowed in streams from 
the wine-presses, and women, arrayed as Pacehants, with skins 
flung over their shoulders, performed wild dances. Messalina, 
herself brandishing a th\ rsus, and Silius, crowned with ivy, at her 
side, strode about in buskins. A note of discord suddenly broke 
upon the dissolute scene. A physician, one Vettius Yalens, had 
climbed up a high tree, and when they asked him what he saw, he 
replied in jest or by some kind of prevision " a terrible storm 
coming from Ostia." Presently the news came that Claudius was 
indeed coming from Ostia, and coming to avenge. The riotous 
company was instantly scattered. Silius rushed to the Forum 
to hide his fear under the appearance of business ; Messalina fled to 
the gardens of Lucullus. They were hardly gone when the officers, 
sent by Narcissus, arrived; and some of the guests, who were slow 
in making their escape, were arrested. Messalina had no fear that 
all was lost; she trusted in her power over her husband. She 
made arrangements that her children Britannicus and Octavia 
should meet their father, an 1 silently plead their mother's cause ; 
and she prayed Vibidia, the eldest of the Vestal virgins, to implore 
the Pontifex Maximus for pardon. Then, having passed through 
the city on foot, she set forth on the road to Ostia, and was able to 
find no better conveyance than a cart which was used to carry 
garden refuse. But all her endeavours failed. Narcissus prevented 
Claudius from listening to her cries, and the Vestal, when she met 
the carriage on its entry into Rome, was dismissed with an 
assurance that the Empress would have an opportunity of defending 
herself. Claudius visited the house of Silius, and saw in the hall 
the statue of the culprit's father, which the senate had ordered to be 
overthrown, and other sights calculated to increase his indignation. 
He then proceeded to the camp of the prastorians, and ascended the 
tribunal. Silius would not defend himself, and merely asked for a 
speedy death. He was immediately executed. The same fate befel 



Vet this Valens and several others, who were charged with abetting 
Silius in his crime. The dancer Mnester was also put to death on 
account of his intrigue with Messalina, and likewise a young 
knight named Sextus Montanus, who had been her lover for only 
one day. In the meantime Messalina had returned to the Lucullan 
gardens and did not yet despair. Her mother Domitia Lepida, 
who had stood aloof in the days of her prosperity, came to her in the 
hour of her distress. She urged her daughter to anticipate the stroke 
of the executioner by a voluntary death. " Life is over," she said, 
"nothing remains but an honourable end." But Messalina was 
fond of life and she knew the nature of her husband. Claudius, 
exhausted by his work of retribution, had retired to the palace to 
dine ; and after dinner he sent a message to the " poor woman," 
bidding her come next day and plead her cause. But Narcissus 
was determined that she should have no chance of pleading. So he 
immediately ordered a tribune and some centurions to go and slay 
the criminal, saying " such are the Emperor's orders." Messalina, 
having in vain attempted to pierce herself with a sword, was killed 
by a blow of the tribune, and the corpse was left to her mother. 
Claudius meanwhile, under the influence of wine, had forgotten the 
events which had just passed, and began to ask why the lady 
tarried. When they told him that she was dead, he merely called 
for another cup, and never mentioned her again. The senate 
decreed that her name should be effaced from all monuments, and 
Narcissus received as a reward for his services, the insignia of 
the quasstorship. 

Such seems to be the least improbable version of the strange story 
of the crowning insolence of Messalina, and her sudden fall.* But 
the episode of her public marriage with Silius will always remain a 
perplexing riddle, unless some totally new evidence be discovered. 

Sect. V. — Agrippina. Death of Claudius. 

§ 20. Messalina had fallen, and the question was, who was to be 
her successor. On this the freedmen were not unanimous. Narcissus 
urged that Claudius should take back his second wife, iElia Pastina, 
whom he had divorced. Callistus worked in behalf of Lollia Paulina, 
the divorced wife of the Emperor Gaius. Pallas espoused the cause 

* This is the version adopted by 
Merivale. It modifies the narrative of 
Tacitus by the statement of Suetonius, 
that Claudius sanctioned a marriage 

between his wife and Silius in order to 
avoid an evil which was said by the 
soothsayers to threaten the husband oi 

48 a.d. AGKIPPINA. 251 

of Agrippina, the Emperor's niece. This remarkable woman, who 
inherited the ambition, without the morality, of her mother, had 
long been scheming to establish an influence over Claudius, who 
was very susceptible to female fascinations. She aimed at securing 
the Empire for her son Lucius Domitius, and winning for herself 
such a position as had been held by Livia. It is impossible to 
know how far she may have been involved in the intrigues 
connected with the fall of Messalina. But it is probable that she 
has influenced the verdict of history on the career of her rival. 
For Agrippina published personal memoirs, in which she revealed 
the secret history of the palace, and it was almost certainly from 
these memoirs that the historian Tacitus drew his account of 
Messalina's wickedness. It may easily be believed that Agrippina 
highly coloured the story and distorted the truth. The death of 
her husband Passienus had left her free and wealthy; and she 
determined to marry her uncle, in spite of the Roman prejudice 
against such a union. Her charms, supported by the persuasions 
of Pallas, subdued the weak Emperor, and, in a few weeks after the 
death of Messalina, Agrippina exerted over Claudius all the 
influence of a wife. Before the end of the year (48 a.d.), .-he took 
the first step in the direction of elevating her son to the throne. 
He was then eleven years old, but she resolved that, when he came 
of age, he should marry Octavia, the daughter of Claudius. For this 
purpose it was necessary to break off the betrothal which existed 
between Octavia and Lucius Silanus, a great-great-grandson of 
Augustus. In accomplishing this, Agrippina was assisted by 
Vitellius, the Emperor's colleague in the censorship, who bore a 
grudge against Silanus, and was ready to ruin him. He informed 
Claudius that Silanus had committed incest with his sister, and the 
horrified Emperor immediately broke off the engagement of his 
daughter. Silanus, who was a prsetor that year, was ordered to 
lay down his office, and Vitellius, although no longer censor, pre- 
sumed on his recent tenure of that office to remove the name of 
Silanus from the list of senators. 

§ 21. When this obstacle to the future marriage of Domitius and 
Octavia was removed, it remained for Agrippina to smooth the way 
fur her own union with Claudius. No precedent in Eoman history 
could be found for marrying a brother's daughter. Such an alliance 
was regarded as incestuous; and in all matters of religion Claudius 
was punctiliously scrupulous. The censor, who had just expressed 
his horror at the alleged incest of Silanus, shrank from incurring 
the charge of a similar offence. But here again Vitellius came to 
the aid -of Agrippma. He appeared in the senate and delivered a 
specious harangue in favour of the proposed marriage. The 


senators tumultuously applauded, and Claudius then appearing in 
the curia caused a decree to be passed that henceforward marriages 
with the daughters of brothers* should be valid. The fourth mar- 
riage of Claudius took place in the early days of 49 a.d., and on 
the wedding day, as it were to bring a curse on the event, Silanus, 
the betrothed of Octavia, killed himself. Another victim, who had 
come across the path of Agrippina, was Lollia Paulina, who had 
aspired to the hand of Claudius. She was accused of having 
consulted Chaldean astrologers concerning the imperial marriage, 
and the Emperor himself spoke against her in the senate. She was 
banished from Italy, but Agrippina is said to have dispatched a 
tribune after her to put her to death. 

§ 22. While Messalina cared only for sensuality, Agrippina was 
enamoured of power. She was not content with being the 
Emperor's wife, but wished to be his colleague. This position was 
designated by the title Augusta, which was conferred upon her in 
50 a.d. She was the third woman who bore this title, but it meant 
for her, as it had meant for Livia, a share in political power, and was 
not merely, as it had been for Antonia, an honourable title. But 
Agrippina enjoyed a mark of distinction which had not been granted 
even to the consort of Augustus. She was the first Koman Empress 
whose image was permitted to appear on coins during her lifetime 
by decree of the senate. When Claudius gave audiences to his 
" friends," or to foreign envoys, his wife sat on a throne beside him. 
We have seen that she gave her name to the new colony of veterans 
established in the town of the Ubii, as Colonia Agrippinensis. In 
order to secure her influence with the freedman Pallas, she is said 
to have engaged in an intrigue with him ; but the court, under her 
rule, seems to have been distinguished by outward propriety and 
certainly by stricter etiquette. 

§ 23. Her schemes for her son's advancement rendered her a 
cruel stepmother to Britannicus. On the 25th February, 50 a.d. 
Lucius Domitius was adopted into the Claudian gens, under the 
name of Nero Claudius Csesar Drusus Grermanicus. This was the 
first instance of an adoption of a son by a pati ician Claudius, and the 
Emperor was disinclined to take the step, not only on this account, 
but lest the prospect's of Britannicus should be injured. He was 
overcome, however, by the example of Augustus. The advancement 
of Nero progressed rapidly. In the following year he was permitted 
to assume the toga of manhood, and by a decree of the senate he was 
made princeps iuventutis, designated to hold the consulship at the age 
of twenty, and he received proconsular power. These honours were 
sufficient to mark him out as the successor of Chr dins to the 
* But not sisters ; and, strange to say, this distinction continued in force. 

50^53 a.d. ADOPTION OF NERO. 253 

Principate. But Agrippina went even further, and caused her son 
to be elected supra numerum, into the four chief priestly colleges — 
the Pontiffs, the augurs, the quindecim viri, and the septemviri. 
This was a distinction which the youthful grandsons of Augustus, 
Gaius and Lucius, had not received. Nero had already been 
betrothed to his cousin Octavia; and his adoption, whereby he 
became legally her brother, was not allowed to hinder the cele- 
bration of the marriage, which took place in 53 a.d In the 
meantime Britannicus, who was only a little younger than Nero, 
was regarded and treated as a child. Misunderstandings and 
estrangements were treacherously brought about between him and 
his father. On one occasion, when the two young princes met, and 
Nero saluted Britannicus by name, Britannicus saluted him as 
" Domitius." Agrippina complained of this to the Emperor, as 
implying a contempt of Nero's adoption and the decree of the 
senate. Claudius was moved by her representations to punish one 
of the instructors of his sun by death, and others by banishment, 
and place him under the charge of the creatures of his stepmother. 
By her machinations, als>, the two prefects of the praatorian guard, 
who had been adherents of Messalina, and were anxious to secure 
the succession of her son, were deposed, and replaced by Afranius 
Burrus, who was devoted to the interests of his patroness. All 
the officers who were attached to the cause of Britannicus, 
were then removed. But the son of Messalina had not only a 
strong party in the senate, but a powerful supporter in the 
imperial household. This was the freedman Narcissus, who 
exerted all his energy and influence to weaken the power of 
Agrippina, and keep Nero from the throne. After the marriage of 
Octavia, the struggle between the two parties became keener. 
Vitellius, who had shown his devotion to the Augusta, was 
threatened with a criminal prosecution. The condemnation of 
Tarquitius Priscus also showed the uncertainty of her position. 
She coveted the house and gardens of Statilius Taurus, a man of 
noble ancestry and great wealth, who had been governor of Africa. 
Priscus brought against him charges of extortion in his adminis- 
tration of that province, and of practising magic. Taurus disdained 
to reply, and chose to die by a voluntary death ; but the senate 
expelled the accuser from their body, although Agrippina exerted 
all her power to protect him. There were other signs, too, which 
might alarm the Empress. Claudius showed himself inclined to 
reinstate his son Britannicus in his proper position, and spoke of 
allowing him to assume the toga virilis. An ominous remark is 
said to have dropped from his lips, that it was his fate first 
to endure the offences of his wives, and afterwards to punish 


them. It looked as if the influence of Narcissus were likely once 
more to get the upper hand. 

§ 24. Agrippina made an attempt to ruin Narcissus by ascribing 
to his mismanagement the failure of the tunnel of Lake Fucinus. 
She failed, but she soon enjoyed a triumph in the ruin of her most 
formidable female rival, Domitia Lepida. This lady, as the daughter 
of the elder Antonia and L. Domitius, was the grandniece of 
Augustus ; as the mother of Messalina, was the grandmother of 
Britannicus ; and as the sister of Cn. Domitius, was the sister-in-law 
of Agrippina. " In beauty, age, and wealth, there was not much 
difference between them. Both were immodest, infamous, and 
violent. They were rivals in their vices no less than in the gifts 
which fortune had given them." * During the exile of Agrippina, 
Lepida had given a home to the child Nero, and ever since had 
endeavoured to secure his affections by flattery and liberality, 
which contrasted with his mother's sternness and impatience. 
Lepida was charged with making attempts against the life of the 
Empress by means of magical incantations, and with being a dis- 
turber of the public peace by maintaining gangs of turbulent 
slaves on her Calabrian estates. The indictment seems to have 
been brought before the Emperor, and it was a trial of strength 
between Agrippina and Narcissus, who did all he could to save 
Lepida. But Agrippina triumphed ; Lepida was sentenced to 
death. Yet notwithstanding this victory, and notwithstanding the 
fact that Claudius had been induced to make a will favourable 
to her son, the Empress did not feel sure of her ground, and dreaded 
a reaction. 

§ 25. Under these circumstances the greatest luck that could 
befal her was the death of Claudius ; and Claudius died (Oct. 13, 
54 A.D.). It was generally believed that he was poisoned by his 
wife ; and though we cannot say that her guilt is proved, it seems 
highly probable. Claudius was in his sixty-fourth year, and in 
declining health. His death took place when Narcissus was absent 
at Sinuessa for the sake of the medicinal waters ; and this coinci- 
dence supports the traditional account that there was foul play, 
for Narcissus suspected the designs of Agrippina. According to the 
received story, she employed the services of a woman named 
Locusta, notorious for the preparation of subtle poisons, who, 
according to the historian Tacitus, was long regarded as " one of 
the instruments of monarchy." f She compounded a curious drug 
which had the property of disturbing the mind without causing 
instant death, and it was administered to Claudius in a dish of 

* Tacitus, Ann., xii. 64. 

f Inter instrumenta regni, Ann., xii. 66. 

54 A.D. 



mushrooms.* But for some reason the poison failed to work ; and 
Agrippina, fearful lest the crime should be discovered, called in 
her confidential physician Xenophon, who did not hesitate to pass 
a poisoned feather into the Emperor's throat, on the plea of helping 
him to vomit. 

§ 26. The position of Nero at the death of Claudius was far 
stronger than that of Gaius at the death of Tiberius. Nero had to 
fear a declaration in favour of Britaimicus, as Gaius had to fear the 
rivalry of the son of Drusus ; but Nero possessed the proconsular 
power, as well as other dignities, which had not been conferred on 
Gaius. He had also the support of bis mother's influence, and 
above all, Burrus, the prefect of the praetorian guard, was devoted 
to his interest. Seeing that the accession of Gaius had proceeded 
so smoothly, there seemed no reason for doubt in the case of Nero. 
But Agrippina took every precaution for securing success. She 
concealed the Emperor's death for some hours and made pretexts 
to detain his children in the palace, until her own son had been 
proclaimed Emperor by the guards. About midday the doors 
of the palace were suddenly thrown open, and Nero issued 
forth, accompanied by Burrus, into the presence of the cohort 
which was then on duty. The prefect .gave a sign, and the 
soldiers received him with acclamations. It was said that some 
hesitated, and asked for Britannicus; but this demurring was 
only for a moment. Nero was then carried in a litter to the 
praetorian camp, where he spoke a few suitable words and was 
saluted Imperator. This was the second occasion on which the 
praetorians created an Emperor, and, following the example of his 
" father " Claudius, Nero promised them a donative. The senate did 
not hesitate to accept the will of the guards, and on the same day 
(Oct. 13, the dies imperii of Nero) decreed to him the proconsular 
power in its higher unlimited form, the prerogatives embodied in 
the lex de imperio, and the name Augustus. The tribunician 
power, which was necessary to complete the prerogatives of the 
Princeps, was conferred upon him by a comitia on the 4th 
December. The legions in the provinces received the news of the 
new principate without a murmur of dissent. 

§ 27. According to custom, the senate met to consider the acts 
of Claudius. He was fortunate enough to receive the honours 
which had fallen to the lot of his model, Augustus, and which his 
two predecessors had missed. He was judged worthy to enter into 
the number of the gods, and flamens were appointed for his worship. 

* Juvenal refers to this in the line? 
(v. 147, 148) : 
Boletus domino, sed quales Claudius edit 

Ante ilium uxoris, post quern nil amplius 


All his acts were decreed to be valid. His funeral was ordered 
after the precedent of that of Augustus, and Ag'ippina emulated 
the magnificence of her great grandmother Livia. Bat the will 
of the deceased sovran was not read in public. It was feared 
that the preference shown to the stepson over Britannicus would 
cause unpleasant remarks. 

§ 28. Nero pronounced a funeral oration, composed by L. Annaeus 
Seneca, over the dead Emperor. One of Agrippina's first acts after 
her marriage with Claudius had been to recall Seneca from his 
exile in Corsica and entrust to him the completion of her son's 
education. During his banishment he had attempted, by the arts 
of flattery, to get his sentence repealed, and had addressed a 
treatise to the freedman Polybius, into which he wrought an 
extravagant panegyric of the Emperor. But Claudius had paid 
no heed, and Seneca was resolved to have his revenge. He 
assailed the memory of the Emperor, soon after his death, in an 
unsparing and remarkably clever satire, entitled the Apocolocyn- 
tosis, " pumpkini neat ion " — a play on " apotheosis," — or, other- 
wise, the ludus de morte Claudii Cxsaris. The arrival of Claudius 
in heaven, the surprise of the gods at seeing his strange shaking 
figure, and hearing his indistinct babble, are described with many 
jests. r l he gods deliberate whether they should admit him, and 
are inclined to vote in his favour, when the divine Augustus arises 
and tells all the crimes and iniquities which have stained the reisn 
of his grandnephew. The gods agree that he deserves to be ejected 
from Olympus. Mercury immediately seizes him by the neck, and 
drags him to the place whence none return — 

llluc unde negant redire quenqnam. 

On the way to the shades he passes through the Via Sacra, where 
he witnesses his own funeral, and sees the Eoman people " walking 
about as if they were free" from a tyrant.* When he reaches 
the lower regions he is greeted With a shout, " Claudius will .come." 
He is surrounded by a large company, consisting of the victims who 
had perished during his reign — senators, knights, freedmen, kins- 
- folk. " I meet friends everywhere ! " said Claudius. " How came 
ye hither ? " " Do you ask, most cruel man ? " was the reply ; 
" who else but thou sent us hither, murderer of all thy friends ? " 
He was then led before the tribunal of iEacus, and prosecuted on 
the basis of the Lex Cornelia de sicariis. He is condemned to play 
for ever with a bottomless dice-box. 

This satire of Seneca reflects the general derision which was 
cast upon the deification of Claudius. The addition of this 

* Populus Romanus ambulabat tanquam liber. 


Emperor's ridiculous figure to the number of the celestials, effec- 
tually dispelled that halo of divinity with which Augustus had 
sought to invest the Principate. 

Bust of Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus (from the bust in the Capitol). 

Messalina (from the bust in the Capitol), 



1. Designs of Augustus to conquer Britain. Policy of his successors. 
Reasons for the undertaking. Diplomatic relations with Britain. 
§ 2. Preparations of Claudius for the expedition (43 A.D.). Aulus 
Plautius. § 3. Landing of the forces. Campaign of Plautius, and 
victory over the Trinovantes. Claudius in Britain. § 4. Triumph of 
Claudius. § 5. Extension of the conquest under Plautius (43-47 A.D.). 
§ 6. Ostorius Scapula succeeds Plautius. Revolt of the Jceni. § 7. 
War with Silures and Ordovices in the west. Caractacus. Great 
Roman victory (51 A.D.). Caractacus at Rome. § 8. Warfare con- 
tinued in the west. Foundation of a colony at Camalodunum. § 9. 
Didius Gallus governor of Britain. § 10. Suetonius Paulinus (59- 
61 a.d.) governor. Campaign in Mona. § 11. Revolt of the Iceni 
and eastern districts ; suppressed by Suetonius. Results. § 12. 
Recall of Suetonius, who is succeeded by Turpilianus. 

Sect. I. --Conquest of Southern Britain by Plautius. 

§ 1. The conquest of Britain was one of the tasks which 
the great Cassar left to the Cgesars who were to come after him. 



Like the conquest of Germany, it was an undertaking to which 
the subjugation of Gaul naturally led. And although his first 
successors did not cross the channel as they crossed the Ehine, the 
island of the north was by no means forgotten. On two occasions 
Augustus had made preparations for an expedition against Britain, 
and both times the enterprise had fallen through. He was about 
to invade the island in 34 B.C. when he was recalled from Gaul by 
the rebellion in Dalmatia; and the poetical literature of the follow- 
ing years shows that the conquest of "ultima Thule" was an 
achievement to which the Romans looked forward with confidence 
as destined to be accomplished when the civil wars were over.* 
Horace deplores that Romans should turn their swords against 
each other, instead of leading the "chained Briton" down the 
Via Sacra, f In 27 B.C., after his accession, Augustus was believed 
to be about to fulfil their expectations, and add a new province to 
the Empire. Horace beseeches Fortune to preserve Cassar, about 
to set* forth against the Britons who live in the ends of the earth.J 
It is uncertain why this intention was not carried out ; perhaps the 
Cantabrian war and the hostilities of the Sal assi, which occupied his 
attention at this time, made Augustus shrink from undertaking 
further warfare. At all events, the idea of subduing Britain was 
not again resumed by Augustus. Tiberius confessed that the 
occupation of Britain was necessary, but, through reverence for the 
precept of Augustus against extending the Empire, refrained from 
attempting it. The problem also engaged the attention of Gains, 
and we saw how his undertaking ended in a ridiculous demonstration 
on the Gallic shore. Strange to say, the conquest of Britain, which 
Csesar himself had failed to accomplish in two attempts, which 
Augustus deemed too difficult, which Tiberius shrank from, was 
reserved for the arms of Claudius. And we are led to believe that 
the idea was his own, and not the suggestion of his councillors. 
The importance of occupying Britain was perhaps brought home to 
him when he endeavoured to suppress the druidical worship in 
Gaul. The constant communication which existed between the 
northern coast of Gaul and the opposite island rendered it hopeless 
to stamp out the barbarous rites as long as Britain was not in the 
hands of Rome. Moreover, the fact that his model, Augustus, had 
contemplated the reduction of the island, was a recommendation of 
the enterprise to Claudius. It is probable, too, that he was 
encouraged by his freedmen, who may have entertained an ex- 

* Virgil, Georgics, i. 30 : Tibi serviat 
ultima Thule (published b.c. 30). 
f Epod. vii. 7 : Britannus ut descenderet 
Sacra catenatus via. 

% Odes, i. 35, 29 : 

Serves iturum Csesarem in ultimos 

Orbis Britannos. 

260 THE CONQUEST OF BK1TAIN. Chap. xvi. 

aggerated idea of the wealth of the island, and hoped to profit 
by it. 

Friendly relations had been maintained with British kings by 
Augustus and Tiberius. Exiled princes sought refuge with 
Augustus and Grains. The immediate occasion of the expedition of 
Claudius is said to have been the request for succour addressed to 
him by Bericus, who, owing to domestic feuds, had fled from 
his country and became the suppliant of Claudius, as Adminius 
had been the suppliant of Gaius. This Bericus was probably 
a son of the king of the Atrebates, who dwelled between the 
Severn and the Thames. But the restoration of this native was 
merely a pretext for carrying out at length what had long been 

§ 2. The Emperor resolved to visit Britain himself, and win the 
honour of personally achieving a great conquest and adding a new 
province to the empire. But it was arranged that the way should 
be prepared before him, so that he could arrive in time to witness 
the final scene. Four legions were assigned to the expedition, 
three irom the German provinces, and one from Pannonia. Their 
numbers and names were: — II. Augusta and XIV. Gemina, from 
Upper Germany ; XX. Valeria Victrix, from Lower Germany ; and 
IX. Hispana, from Pannonia. Besides these, there were the usual 
contingents of auxiliary troops, cohorts of infantry and alse of 
cavalry. Aulas Plautius Silvanus was selected to command the 
expedition. He was a relation of Plautia Urgulanilla, the divorced 
wife of Claudius, and is described as a " senator of the highest 
repute." At this time he doubtless held c< mmand in some of the 
provinces from which legions were drafted for the expedition — either 
Upper or Lower Germany, or possibly Belgica. He was supported 
by many able and distinguished officers, whose selection shows 
what importance was attached to the expedition. Among them 
must be mentioned L. Galba — destined one day to be an Emperor 
himself — an able officer whom we have already met as legatus of 
Upper Germany. The legatus of the Ilnd legion was Flavius 
Vespasianus, also destined like Galba, to rule the I Ionian world. 
Cn. Hosidius Geta, who had completed the w T ork of Suetonius 
Paulinus in Mauretania, was probably the commander of another 
legion. Valerius Asiaticus, who afterwards fell a victim to 
Messalina, and Cn. Sentius Saturninus may also be mentioned. 

It has been calculated tl at the whole forces amounted to up- 
wards cf sixty thousand men,* and an enormous transport fleet was 
necesVary to convey them to the British coast. For this purpose 
ships were sent to Gesoriacum (Boulogne), from the naval stations of 
* Mommsen rates the force as low as 40,000, Hiibner as high as 70,000. 


Italy, Ravenna and Misennm. Early in 43 a.d. the army assembled 
near the place where, just one hundred years before, Caesar had 
embarked on the same errand.* But the difficulties of those 
first unsucc ssful attempts were remembered in the army. The 
soldiers murmured and showed a mutinous spirit when Plautius 
revealed the object of the expedition. Plautius sent the news 
to Rome and Claudius dispatched Narcissus to restore order. 
The freed man harangued the turbulent troops, and they, con- 
tented with mocking him as a slave, submitted to the Emperor's 

§ 3. The British coast was reached safely, though not without some 
difficulty from adverse weather, and the invading army disembarked 
in three harbours, without encountering any resistance from the 
Britons. It seems probable that these harbours were on the coast 
of Sussex and Kent ; some think that a landing was made as far 
west as Portsmouth. It is impossible to determine with anything 
like certainty the line of Roman advance, but it is clear that their 
first object was to overcome the Trinovantes, whose home was north 
of the Thamesis (Thames), in the territory which now forms the 
counties of Essex and Hertford, but whose sway extended over 
south-eastern Britain. In the days of Caesar, their leader, Cassivel- 
launus, had formed a league to oppose the invaders. Their capital 
was then at Verulamium (St. Albans), but Cunobellinus — the 
origin of Shakespeare's Cymbeline — had transferred it to Camalo- 
dunum (Colchester). The sons of Cunobellinus, by name Caractacus f 
and Togodumnus, commanded the Trinovantes, and took the field 
.against Plaulius. Their tactics were to draw the invaders into 
woody and marshy country, but they were both defeated in two 
distinct battles. The Boduni, one of the tribes which were ruled 
over by these princes, submitted, and received a Roman garrison. 
Soon afterwards, the legions, drawn on by the barbarians, and 
perhaps conducted by the friendly Atrebates, reached a certain river, 
which may possibly be the Medway. The Britons offered a 
stubborn resistance, but at length, after two days' fight ; ng, the 
Romans effected a crossing. On this occasion, Vespasian and 
Hosidius Geta particularly distinguished themselves. The enemy 
then fell back behind the Thamesis. They were followed by the 
Batavian auxiliaries, who swam across the stream, and by some 
Roman troops who crossed by a bridge higher up ; but these forces 
were beaten back, and Plautius determined to wait for the arrival 
of the Emperor with reinforcements before crossing the Thames 
and striking the final blow. In the meantime he was able to 

* Caesar had embarked from Portus [ f The more correct form of the name 
Itius ; perhaps Wissant, | seems to be Caratacus. 



Chap. xvi. 

secure the ground which he had won, and it seems likely that at 
this time King Cogidubnus declared for the Romans. He seems 
to have been the prince of the Regni, whose capital town has been 
identified with Chichester. He proved himself a firm friend of the 
Eomans, and received as a reward from Claudius Roman citizenship, 
the title of legatus August^ and a grant of territory — apparently 
his original possessions. A monument of him, as Tiberius Claudius 
Cogidubnus — he assumed the Emperor's name — may be still seen 
in Goodwood Park.* 

Leaving the conduct of affairs at Rome during, his absence to 
L. Vitellius, Claudius, with a large retinue, embarked for Massilia 
(about July), crossed Gaul and reached the Roman camp, probably 
somewhere near Londinium (London), before the end of the military 
season. A great battle was fought under the imperial auspices ; the 
Britons were routed and Camalodunum, the capital of the Trino- 
vantes, was taken. Claudius was saluted Imperator by the army 
more than once, although only a single assumption of the title 
in a single campaign was allowed by usage. He honour* d Camalo- 
dunum by a visit, and selected it to be the centre of the Romanisation 
of Britain. 

§ 4. The Emperor remained only sixteen days in the island, and, 
leaving the consolidation and extension of the conquest to his 
general, he recrossed the channel, spent the winter in Gaul, and 
reached Rome in the following spring (44 a.d.). His son-in-law 
Pompeius, and L. Silanus, who had attended him on his journey, 
were sent forward to announce the victory. The senate decreed to 
the conqueror of Britain the honour of a triumph, and the title 
Britannicus, which, however, he declined for himself but accepted 
for his infant son. r l hey also decreed the erection of two triumphal 
arches, one in the Campus Martius, the other at Gesoriacum. In 
the inscription on the Roman arch, which has been partly pre- 
served, Claudius boasts that he subdued eleven kings. f The 
rejoicings were marked by the mimic representation in the 
Campus Martius of the siege of a British town and the submission 
of Biitish chieftains. The part which the fleet had played in the 
expedition was afterwards celebrated by naval manoeuvres 
at the mouth of the Padus. Claudius was not a little proud of 
having outdone his three predecessors by adding a province to the 

* The inscription is as follows : 
[Njeptuno et Minervse templum [pr]o 
salute Do[mus] Divinae [ex] auctoritate 
[Ti.] Claud. [Co]gidubni R. ! ega [ti]Aug. 
in Brit. [Collejgium fabror. et qui in eo 
d. s. d. (de suo dai.t) donante aream 
[Clem]ente Pudentini 51. 

f Quod reges Britanniai xi. devictos 
sine ulla iactura in de;itionem acceperit 
gentesque barbaras trans oceanum primus 
in dicionem populi Romani redegerit. 

Another triumphal arch was erected at 



Empire, and the achievement seemed greater from the circumstance 
that the new province was beyond the ocean.* 

An important consequence of the conquest of Claudius was the 
decree of the senate that treaties made by Claudius or his legati 
should be valid, just as if they had been made by the senate or 
the Roman people. This measure was intended to facilitate the 
reduction of the distant island. 

Sect. II. — Administration and Extension of the Province 


§ 5. The true conqueror of Britain, was Aulus Plautius, and he 
remained there until 47 a.d., as legatus pro prcetore of the new 
province. During these years the progress of the conquest went 
on, chiefly in the west and south. Vespasian and bis brother 
Flavius Sabinus played a prominent part in breaking the resistance 
of the natives. Vespasian is said to have fought thirty battles 
during his command in Britain, and to have captured twenty 
places. One of his chief achievements was the reduction of 
Vectis, the Isle of Wight. The Romans must also have penetrated 
to the border of Somersetshire at this period ; for there have been 
found in the Mendip Hills two pigs of lead, with the names of 
Claudius and his son, dating from the year 49 a.d. In the east, 
the Iceni, a powerful tribe, who held the regions which, after the 
English conquest, became East Anglia, submitted to Roman 
overlordship. It may be said roughly, that a line drawn from 
Aquas Sulis (Bath) to Londinium, passing through Calleva (Sil- 
chester) and extended so as to take in Camalodunum, may 
roughly define the limits of Roman Britain, when Plautius was 
recalled. Plautius received the reward of an ovation, — a rare 
distinction under the Empire for anyone not belonging to the 
imperial family. 

§ 6. The successor of Plautius was P. Ostorius Scapula, and im- 
mediately on his arrival, towards the close of the season, he was 
called upon to subdue a rising of the Iceni. The Iceni were all 
the more formidable as their strength had not yet been weakened 
by war. They instigated the surrounding tribes to take up arms, 
and chose as a battle-field a place enclosed by a rude barrier, with 

* The epigrams which were composed 
at the time of the triumph illustrate this. 
For example : 
Mars pater, et nostrae gentis tutela Quirine, 

Et magno positus Caesar uterque polo, 

Cernitis ignotos Latia sub lege Britannos ? 

Sol citra nostrum flectitur oceanum. 
Ultima cesserunt adaperto claustra pro- 

Et iam Romano cingimur Oceano. 


a narrow approach and impenetrable to cavalry.* Ostorius led 
the auxiliary troops without the strength of the legions — whose 
presence in other parts of the country was necessary — against these 
defences, and attempted to break through them. He equipped the 
cavalry to do the duty of infantry, and succeeded in forcing the 
barriers. The rebels, finding escape impossible, fought desperately ; 
and the general's son, Marcus Ostorius, won the civic crown for 
saving a citizen's life. Those tribes which were hesitating between 
war and peace were quieted by this defeat of the Iceni. 

§ 7. But the main work of Ostorius lay in the west. The peoples 
of the mountainous districts of Wales presented a stubborn re- 
sistance to the progress of Roman arms in that direction ; and they 
were organised by the indomitable spirit of Caractacus, who, when 
his own people, the Trinovantes, were irretiievably overthrown, 
retreated to the west and there maintained with vigour and success 
the struggle for British independence. The remains of the British 
entrenchments in the counties which border on Wales, are probably 
a record of this struggle. Glevum (Gloucester) seems at this 
time to have become the headquarters of the Hnd legion, and 
Ostorius probably drew a line of forts from this point across country 
to Camalodunum.f Ostorius first attacked the Decangi, an 
obscure tribe, who dwelled probably in the neighbourhood of De\ a, 
(Chester), and then advanced into the hilly land of the Silures, 
whose habitation corresponded to Hereford, Monmouth and South 
Wales. The position of Viroconium, (Wroxeter), was occupied 
as a stronghold against the Ordo vices and became for some time 
the headquarters of the XlVth legion. 

The Britons were far inferior in military strength, but Caractacus 
knew how to take advantage of the intricacies of the country. 
After a struggle of three years, he changed the scene of war from 
the land of the Silures northward to the territory of the Ordovices, 
and thus compelled the Roman army to retrace its steps under 
great difficulties (51 a.d.). He then resolved on bringing the war 
to a final issue. He chose a position for the battle, in which it 
would be easy for his own forces, and difficult for the Romans, 
either to advance or retreat ; and piled up stone ramparts on some 
lofty hills wherever the slope was gentle enough to admit of an 
approach .J A river lay in front of his position, and he drew up 

* There are no data for determining the 
locality of the battle. Scarth supposed it 
to be Burrough Hill, near Daventry. It 
may be mentioned that the remains of one 
of the embankments of the Iceni is still 
traceable in the Devil's Pvke, which 
crosses the road from Cambridge to New- 

f It is possible, however, that this line 
was further north, cc responding to the 
line of the Severn, Avon, and Trent. Se« 
Notes and Illustrations, B., at end of this 

J It is useless to attempt to fix the 
place. One guess is Coxall Knoll, near 
Leintwardine, the river being the Teme. 

51 ad. CARACTACUS. 265 

his men before the defences. He made a stirring appeal to his 
followers to recover their freedom, and every warrior swore by the 
gods of his tribe to shrink neither from wounds nor weapons. The 
Roman general was somewhat daunted by the enthusiasm of the 
foe, the river iu front of him, the frowning hills behind, but the 
soldiers insisted on accepting battle. Having made a careful 
survey of the assailable points in the enemy's position, Ostorius 
led his troops across the river without difficulty, and attacked the 
barrier. As long as it was a fight with missiles, the Romans had 
the worst of it, but when the testudo was formed, and the soldiers 
advanced with locked shields, the rude fence was easily thrown 
down, and the barbarians were forced to retire up the heights. 
The Romans pursued them, and as the Britons had no defensive 
armour their ranks were soon broken. When they turned to oppose 
the light-armed auxiliaries, the legionaries hewed them down behind 
with swords and javelins ; when they turned round to resist the 
legionaries, they were attacked by the spears and sabres of the 
auxiliaries. It was a great and decisive victory. The wife and 
daughter of Caractacus were immediately captured, his brothers 
surrendered, and he was soon afterwards taken prisoner through 
the treachery of Cartimandua, queen of the Brigantes, to whom he 
had fled for refuge, and was sent to Rome. 

His fame was celebrated in Italy, and all were eager to see the 
hero who had defied the Roman power for nine years. The people 
of Rome were summoned as to a great spectacle ; the praatorian 
cohorts were drawn up in front of their camp. A procession of 
the clients of the British prince defiled before the Emperor's 
tribunal; the ornaments and chains of Caractacus and the spoils 
which he had won in war with other tribes were displayed. Then 
followed his brothers, his wife, and his daughter ; last of all the 
warrior himself. While all the others were cowed into humility, 
Caractacus did not seek to move compassion either by word or 
look. Claudius pardoned him and his kinsfolk ; and the captives, 
released from their chains, did homage to the Emperor and 
Agrippina, who sat on another throne beside him, although it was 
an unheard of thing that a woman should sit on the tribunal of the 
Imperator surrounded by the standards. After this solemnity the 
senate assembled and laudatory speeches were delivered on the 
capture of Caractacus, which was compared to the exhibition of 
Syphax by Scipio, or that of Perseus by ^Emilius Paullus. Caractacus 
was retained, like the Suevian Maroboduus, in an honourable 
custody until his death. Ostorius received the triumphal orna- 

§ 8. This victory, although decisive, was by no means equivalent 


to the subjugation of western Britain. The quarters of the Ilnd 
legion were established further west, at Isca Silururn (Caerleon 
on the Usk, to be distinguished from Isca Dumnoniorum, Exeter), 
and it was exposed there to great dangers, sustaining several 
serious reverses. At the same time the great tribe of the 
Brigantes in the north, who held all the land north of the Trent 
at least as far as the Tyne, displayed signs of hostility to the 
Romans. Scapula did not long survive his victory. He died in 
52 a.d., worn out, it was said, by the troublesome and exhausting 
warfare against the Silures. During the following six years, under 
the administration of Aulus Didius Gallus (52-57 a.d.) and 
Veranius (57-58 a.d.), the limits of the province do not seem to 
have been extended. 

The governorship of Ostorius Scapula was also marked by the 
plantation of the first military colony. The ancient capital of 
Cunobellinus was chosen, to hold somewhat the same position in 
Britain that Lugudunum held in Gaul. It is remarkable that 
this place was preferred to Londinium, which was commercially 
the most considerable town in Britain. Under Cunobellinus, 
Camalodunum had assumed " an importance eclipsing that of all 
other British ' oppid^,' though still apparently resembling the general 
type in consisting of a large enclosed tract of some square miles, 
protected on the east, north, and south by the tidal marshes of the 
Colne and its small tributary (still called the Roman river), and on 
its assailable side, the west, by strong earthworks, in part still 
traceable, from stream to stream."* The official name given to 
the new colony was Colonia Yictrix, and a temple was erected to 
Claudius, for the purpose of establishing a provincial worship like 
that which Augustus had instituted in Gaul. A theatre and other 
buildings soon sprang up, but, like Londinium and Verulamium, it 
was left un walled and inadequately defended, 

§ 9. When Didius arrived in the province, he found that one of 
the legions under Manlius Valens had been defeated by the Silures, 
who were scouring the country far and wide. Having dispersed 
them, he was obliged to turn his arms against the Brigantes. A 
chief of this tribe named Venutius, was, since the capture of 
Caractacus, the foremost warrior and the ablest leader in the cause 
of British independence. He had for many years been faithful to 
Rome, and had been united in marriage to the queen Cartimandna. 
But they quarrelled and were divorced; a domestic war followed, 
and while the queen held to the Romans, Venutius changed his 
attitude to them also. By wily stratagems Cartimandua got into 
her power the brothers and kinsmen of Venutius, and this led to 
* Furneaux, Tacitus, vol. ii. p. 142. 

59-61 a.d. CAMALODUNUM. 267 

an invasion of her kingdom by the flower of the British youth. 
Eoman cohorts were sent to the assistance of the Queen, and 
effectually protected her. Desultory warfare seems to have con- 
tinued during the following years, but no further events of import- 
ance are recorded in the governorship of Didius. Veranius his 
successor (a.d. 58) made some small raids upon the Silures, but 
was prevented by death from continuing the war. 

Sect. III.— Governorship of Suetonius Paulinus. 

§ 10. A new advance was made when the able and ambitious 
Suetonius Paulinus, who had distinguished himself in Mauretania, 
was appointed legatus in 59 a.d. It was he probably who occupied 
Deva, and made it the quarters of the XXth legion — "the Camp" 
as it came to be called, Castra or Chester. Deva served as a post 
against North Wales on the one side and against the Brigantes 
on the other. It is probable that he spent his first two years in 
subduing the northern parts of Wales, and in 61 a.d., he pushed 
forward with the XIV th legion to exterminate the Druidical 
worship in its extreme retreat. The British priesthood had retired 
to the island of Mona, the present Anglesey, where they hoped to 
be able to protect themselves by the strait. But Suetonius was 
not foiled. He prepared rafts for the transport of his infantry 
across the stream, and landed on the shore of the island in the face 
of a dense array of Britons, while in the background the women, 
dressed in black, and with dishevelled hair, brandished torches, and 
the priests imprecated curses on those who had come to disturb 
them. Panic seized the Romans, but not for long. The landing, 
was forced, the enemy was utterly routed, and the sacred groves 
were cut down or burnt. It was probably in connection with this 
expedition that Segontium, whose name is still preserved in Caer 
Seiont, was founded. 

§ 11. But while Suetonius was busy in the west, a great 
insurrection broke out in the east. The Iceni were the ringleaders. 
This tribe, under its king Prasutagus, had been suffered, notwith- 
standing its former revolt, to retain its position of a client tributary 
state. The heavy exactions imposed by the fiscus, and the violence 
and insolence of the imperial procurator in levying the dues, 
excited general discontent. The British communities were com- 
pelled to borrow from Roman money-lenders in order to meet these 
exactions ; and Seneca is stated to have directly promoted the 
rebellion by suddenly calling in his investments. On the death of 
the king the land of the Iceni was annexed to the province. 
Prasutagus had made the Emperor his heir along with his two 


daughters, thinking that this compliment would secure his 
family and his kingdom from injury at the hands of the 
Romans. But it turned out quite the reverse. The agents of 
the imperial procurator plundered the house of the dead king on 
the plea of exacting the inheritance, and treated his family with 
outrage. His wife Boadicea* was "beaten with stripes, and his 
daughters were dishonoured. His relations were made slaves, and 
the chief men of the tribe were stript of their property. The 
Iceni were roused by these indignities and the fear of worse, and 
they found allies in the Trinovantes, who smarted under the 
violence of the veterans settled at Camalodunum. These colonists 
drove the natives out of their houses and farms, and the priests 
who officiated at the temple of the Divine Claudius, levied heavy 
exactions for the maintenance of the alien worship. 

The rebels chose a moment at which all the legions were far 
away, and marched against Camalodunum. The inhabitants im- 
plored help from the procurator Catus Decianus, who sent a 
reinforcement of two hundred men without regular arms. But the 
place was undefended either by fosse or by rampart ; and secret 
accomplices in the revolt hindered them from taking fitting pre- 
cautions. They did not even remove the women and old men, but 
all took refuge in the temple of Claudius, hoping that succour 
might come. An immense host of Britons surrounded the place 
and the sanctuary was stormed after a siege of two days. All the 
defenders were put to death with the greatest cruelty. The tidings 
of the outbreak first reached Petillius Cerealis, the commander of 
legion IX, which, though its station at this moment is not 
known,f was nearest the scene of the revolt. He hurried to attack 
the insurgents, but in a great battle the infantry was cut to j)ieces, 
and only the cavalry escaped. Petillius could not do more than 
hold his entrenchments until the arrival of Suetonius, who was 
hastening eastward, with legion XIV. from Mona, reinforced by 
the veterans of the XXth, which he picked up at Deva. Legionaries 
and auxiliaries, in all, his forces amounted to about 10,000 mm. 
He had intended that legion II., stationed at Isca Silurum, 
should also march eastward in this great emergency, but the 
commander disobeyed the summons, on the plea, doubtless, of 
troubles with the Siiures. 

In order not to dissipate his forces, Suetonius was obliged to leave 
the important and populous towns of Londinium and Verulamium 
to the fury and greed of the insurgents, who, having burnt the 
Claudian colony, were marching about, bent on destruction. The 

* Boudicca seems to be the proper form. 

f Some think Lindum ; but it is doubtful whether Lindum was yet Roman. 

61 a.d. REVOLT OF THE ICENI. 269 

movements of the Roman general are very uncertain, but the 
decisive battle seems to have taken place in the neighbourhood 
of Camalodunum.* He chose his own battle-ground. The position 
which he selected was approached by a narrow defile, and closed at 
the other end by a forest. In front extended an open plain, where 
there was no danger from ambuscades. In this position he could 
not be outflanked or surrounded in the rear — the chief dangers, 
from the superior numbers of the enemy. The legions were drawn 
up in close array, round them the light-armed cohorts; and the 
cavalry were massed on the wings. The army of the Britons, 
consisting of both infantry and cavalry, were confident of victory, 
and had hampered themselves with their wives, riding in waggons to 
witness their triumph. Boadicea, a woman of spirit and deter- 
mination, had blazened abroad among her people the treatment she 
had received, and drove about in her chariot along with her 
daughters from tribe to tribe, calling upon her countrymen to 
throw off the foreign yoke. But in spite of their numbers and 
their ardour, the Britons experienced a crushing defeat. At first 
the legion kept its post in the narrow defile, but when the pila, 
which were hurled with unerring aim on the advancing foe, had 
been exhausted, they rushed forward in a wedge-like column and 
broke the British centre. The auxiliaries and the cavalry com- 
pleted the victory, and the flight of the conquered enemy was 
impeded by the waggons. Their loss is computed at nearly 80,000. 
Boadicea poisoned herself, and the commander of legion II., 
who had disobeyed orders, and thereby kept his troops from sharing 
the glory of the XIV th, committed suicide. 

The number of Roman citizens and allies, who had perished at 
the hands of the rebels, is stated to have been about 70,000, and it 
was necessary to begin the work of civilisation in the eastern 
districts all over again. Considerable reinforcements arrived from 
Gaul ; the IXth legion was recruited again ; and the whole army 
was brought together to stamp out the remaining sparks of re- 
bellion. Suetonius took a terrible vengeance. He wasted the land 
of the enemy with fire and* sword, and the famine which ensued 
made great havoc among the Iceni. Perhaps at this time the 
stronghold of Venta Icenorum f was established to control the 
districts north of Camalodunum. 

§ 12. Suetonius was a severe ruler ; his counsels were always of 
sternness, never of lenity. Charges of oppression were brought 
against him by a procurator, and Polycletus, an imperial freedman, 

* Some fancy that the scene of the 1 with a large number of funeral urns, 
defeat was Wormingford (near Colchester), f Norwich or €aistor. 
where a mound has been discovered ) 



Chap. xvi. 

was sent to the island to investigate the matter. His decision was 
practically adverse to Suetonius, who was recalled (61 a.d.) and 
replaced in the command by Petronius Turpilianus, a man of more 
conciliatory temper. Under his auspices southern Britain seems to 
have become contented with Koman rule. The towns which had 
been sacked by the Iceni, were rebuilt, and soon resumed their 
former prosperity — Camalodunum, as the centre of the Koman ad- 
ministration, and Londinium, as the centre of British commerce. 
By this time all the most important stations in the province were 
connected by Koman roads. The two most important roads, 
Watling Street, leading to the west, and Ermine Street to the 
north (through Camalodunum) met at Londinium. The chief sea- 
ports were Kutupise (Richborough) and Portus Lemanis, which 
preserves its old name as Lymhe. It is highly probable that these 
places — as well as inland centres such as Calleva (Silchester, near 
Keading), and Corinium, (Cirencester) — were already beginning 
to become centres of Roman civilisation. 



Our only account of the invasion of 
Britain by Plautius is that of Dion Cassius, 
and he gives so few geographical indi- 
cations, and those few so vague, that it is 
quite hopeless to reconstruct the cam- 
paign with anything like certainty. The 
views of scholars who have investigated 
the question diverge widely. The account 
given in the foregoing chapter is in ac- 
cordance with that of Mommsen {Rom. 
Gesch., v. cap. 5) and Mr. Furneaux 
(Annals of Tacitus, vol. ii. p. 126, sqq.). 
Hiibner's view is very different (Romische' 
Herrschaft in Westeuropa, p. 10, sqq.), 
and deserves to be recorded. 

Hiibner holds that the Roman forces 
landed at one or more points between 
Dover and Southampton; that the first 
camp was near Chichester, the old capital 
of the P»egni, where they received the 
support of Cogidubnus ; that Clausentum 
(near Southampton) may have been 
founded in honour of the victorious enter- 
prise of Claudius near the spot where the 
fleet landed; that the occupation of the 
Isle of Wight was one of the earliest 
events of the conquest. From Chichester, 

according to this view, the army advanced 
in a north-westerly direction to Venta 
(the chief city of the Belgse), whose name 
is hidden in Win-chester ; and thence to 
Calleva (Silchester), which, situated at 
an equal distance from the eastern and 
western seas, was well suited to be a 
centre for simultaneous operations in east 
and west. The Boduni, mentioned by 
Dion, are the same as the Dobuni who 
dwelled on the Severn in the neighbour- 
hood of Gloucester, and Glevum (Glouces- 
ter) was occupied by a Roman garrison. 
Having established a footing in the west, 
the main part of the army proceeded east- 
ward against the Trinovantes, and the 
unnamed river of Dion is probably the 

Against Hiibner's view and all others 

which, like his, assume operations in the 

west immediately after the landing, it 

must be urged that nothing in Dion really 

justifies such an assumption, which is, 

antecedently, improbable. The first shock 

| of the invasion was clearly aimed at the 

; Trinovantes, and it is difficult to see why 

Plautius should have advanced against 

Carnal dunum by way of Calleva and 

[ Glevum. The only plausible argument 

Chap. xvi. 



for Hiibner's reconstruction is Dion's men- 
tion of the Boduni, from which, by trans- 
posing two letters, we may get Bobuni, 
who (we know from the geographer 
Ptolemy) lived in the neighbourhood of 
Gloucester and Cirencester. But there is 
no reason whatever why there might not 
have been Boduni, totally distinct from 
the Dobuni, and dwelling in a different 
part of Britain. No guesswork is so un- 
certain as guesswork about proper names. 

The view of Dr. bluest assumes a similar 
detour to the west. It is briefly and 
clearly summed up by Mr. Furneaux 
(p. 134). Dr. Guest "thinks that the 
landing was effected probably at Rich- 
borough, Dover, and Hythe, bu r that the 
Britons abandoned Kent without a struggle ; 
that their first stand (in which Caractacus 
was defeated) was near Silchester, the 
second (in which Togodumnus was de- 
feated) near Cirencester ; that the un- 
named river to which the Britons then 
fell back, and where the chief battle took 
place, was really the Thames, which was 
crossed at Wallingford ; that the so called 
Thames which the Britons afterwards 
crossed, and at which the iioman advance 
was checked, was really the tidal estuary 
of the Lea near Stratford; and that the 
place whne Plautius then waited was 
London, where his camp formed the first 
permanent castellum, and where he does 
not think that there is evidence of any 
previous British settlement. He supports 
this view from a passage in which Alfred 
(who is supposed to have followed some 
confused Welsh Chronicle) ascribes to 
Caesar a march somewhat resembling the 
above (but stated as by way of Walling- 
ford to Cirencester) ; but the difficulties 
involved seem extremely great." If we 
once begin to doubt one of the few data 
which seem fairly certain, namely, the 
identity of Dion's Thamesis with the 
Thames, the reconstr action of the cam- 
paign is hopeless. 

Another very different view was put 
forward by Mr. G. B. Airy (Athenaeum, 
June 28, 1860), and is thus summed up 
by Mr. Furneaux. He held "that the 
westerly course mentioned by Dio was 
really that from the North Foreland to 
the coast of Essex, where the landing took 
place (probably at or near Southend) ; 
that the Britons retreated south-west ; 
that the unnanr-d river, the scene of the 
chief conflict, was the tidal portion of the 
Lea ; that the Britons, retreating thence, 

crossed to the south of the Thames, fol- 
lowed by the Romans, who took up a 
position (probably at Keston), where they 
re-crossed the Thames with Claudius and 
struck at Camalodunum. This view ap- 
pears to involve the hardly possible sup- 
position, that the Btitons, instead of 
tailing back upon their stronghold at 
Camalodunum, deliberately marched away 
from it and left it open to attack, and 
that the Romans, instead of availing, 
themselves of that opportunity, marched 
after them, and even crossed the Thames, 
knowing that they would have to je-cross 
it for the main olject oi the campaign." 

More recently Mr. F. C. J. Spurrell 
read a paper at the Archaeological Insti- 
tute (1888), which puts forward a new 
view, partly in agreement with I r. Guest, 
partly with Mr. Airy. "He places the 
landing on the Hampshire coast, and 
makes the Romans march to Gloucester- 
shire and thence eastward till they reach 
the Lea (the unnamed river of Dio); 
whence lie also makes them follow the 
Britons southward across the Thames 
(probably near Tilbury, supposed to be 
then above the tidal limit), and wait 
there for Claudius." 

One of the most useful assays written 
on this difficult subject is that of Mr. 
Furneaux, to which this note is largely 


The chronology of the northward ex- 
tension of the province is very uncertain. 
The data are few ; and, in an important 
sentence ol Tacitus, which might throw 
some light upon the question, the reading 
is doubtful. In the foregoing chapter the 
view of Htbner, that Camalodunum and 
Glevum marked the 1 mits of the province 
under Plautius and ( storius, has been 
adopted. It has also been assumed that 
the permanent establishment at Deva was 
due to Suetonius, and that 1 indum (Lin- 
coln) was not occupied until a later period 
(seeb'low, Chap. xxii. $ 1). Otheis, how- 
ever, hold that Lindum was a Roman post 
under Suetonius, or even under Ostorius, 
and that in fact Cerealis and legion IX. 
were stationed there w r hen the revolt 
of 61 a.d. broke out. This seems quite 

Tacitus (Annals, xii. 31) describing the 
acts of Ostorius says : Cunctaque castris 
Antonam et Sabrinam fluvios cohibere 



Chap. xvi. 

parat. As they stand, the words cannot 
be construed, but they are supposed to 
mean that tbe governor drew a line of 
forts across the country between two 
rivers, of which one was the Severn. 
Many corrections have been proposed, 
among others inter Avonam (for Anto- 
nam)\ a very improbable change. Momm- 
sen thinks that castris means a military 
station at Viroconium (Wroxeter), and 
that the river whose name is corrupted, 
was the Tern. (So Mr. Haverfield, who 
suggests castris ad TiHsantonam.) But 
the context shows that the measure of 

Ostorius in some way affected the Iceni, 
so that Viroconium seems unlikely. The 
conjecture of Heraeus is more plausible, 
both palaeographically atid historically. 
He proposes cis Trisantonam (instead of 
castris Antonam), "south of the rivers 
Trent and Severn." Trisantona might 
well have been the old name of the Trent. 
If the Trent is mentioned as a limit, the 
occupation of Lindum at this time becomes 
highly probable. 

It is to be observed that if castris is 
right, it must mean "a camp," not "a 
line of forts," which would be castellis. 

Apotheosis of Germanicus. 




1. Early life and education of Nero. Seneca. § 2. Position of 
Britannicus. Speech of Nero in the senate. § 3. Struggle between 
Agrippina, and Seneca and Burrus. Disgrace" of Pallas. Death of 
Britannicus. § 4. Nero's licentiousness. Poppasa Sabina. § 5. Destruc- 
tion of Agrippina. § 6. Sympathy with Nero. § 7. Nero's appearance 
in public as a lyre-player and charioteer. § 8. Death of Burrus. Decline 
of Seneca's influence. Schemes of Poppasa. § 9. Tigellinus. Execu- 
tion of Eubellius Plautus and Cornelius Sulla. § 10. Divorce and 
death of Octavia. Nero marries Poppasa. Her death. § 11. The 
feast of Tigellinus. § 12. Financial measures. Project of "free 
trade." Taxation. Delations and confiscations. Debasement of 
coinage. § 13. Great fire in Rome, 64 a.d. Rebuilding of the city. 
§ 14. Cause of the fire ; charges against Nero. Accusation and 
execution of Christians. § 15. Conspiracy of Piso. § 16. Deaths of 

274 THE PKINCIPATE OF NEKO. Chap, xvii. 

Seneca and Lucan. § 17. Death of Petronius Arbiter. § 18. Death of 
Thrasea Paetus. § 19. Nero's visit to Greece. Freedom granted to 
Achaia (66-68 A.D.). § 20. Revolt of Vindex. § 21. It is suppressed 
by Verginius. § 22. Advance of Galba and death of Nero (68 a.d.). 
§ 23. Feelings on his death. § 24. His appearance and character. 
§ 25. Encroachments on the power of th^ senate. § 26. Provincial 
administration. Prosecutions of governors. New provinces. Colonisa- 
tion in Mcesia. § 27. Project of a water-route through Gaul. § 28. 
Hostilities of the Frisians. 

Sect. I. — The Ascendency of Seneca and Bctkkus. 

§ 1. The new Princeps* belonged to the house of the Brazen-beards, 
one of the most illustrious families of the Domitian gens. His 
father, Gnseus Domitius Ahenobarbus, a man infamous for his 
vices and crimes, is reported to have said on his child's birth, that 
the offspring of such a father as himself, and such a mother as 
Agrippina, must turn out ill-omened and disastrous to the state. 
The child lost his father at the age of three, and was despoiled of 
his inheritance by the Emperor Gaius. His mother was in banish- 
ment, and his training devolved for a time upon his aunt Domitia 
Lepida. The accession of Claudius restored to him both his mother 
and his possessions, and under the eye of Agrippina he was brought 
up with a view to future greatness. It has been already men- 
tioned that she recalled the philosopher Seneca from exile, and 
entrusted to him the education of her son. This remarkable man, 
who played an important part in the administration of the Koman 
world during the early half of Nero's reign, professed to be a Stoic, 
superior to the ordinary desires and ambitions of mankind. But 
he amassed an immense fortune, and did not disdain the arts of 
a courtier. He was not a politician who amuses himself with 
philosophy, nor yet a pure philosopher who steps out of his 
sphere to give advice in politics. On the contrary, his theory was 
that philosophy should be applied to government, and that thought 
should be combined with action. He may not have adhered 
over strictly to all his precepts of morality, but there can be no doubt 
that whatever were his faults, he rose " far above the ordinary 
pedagogues of the day, the cringing slave or the nattering freedman 
to whom the young patricians were, for the most part, consigned. 
Doubtless it was Seneca's principle of education to allure, possibly 
to coax, rather than drive his pupil into virtue. He yielded on many 
points in order to borrow influence on others. He deigned to pur- 
chase the youth's attention to severe studies by indulging his inclina- 

* His name in official style was : Nero I n., Ti. Caesaris Augusti pron., divi Augusti 
Claudius divi Claud, f., Germanici Caesaris J abn. Caesar Augustus Germanicus. 


tion to some less worthy amusements." * The young prince was 
surrounded by the temptations which beset the patrician youth of 
Rome, and accustomed to the indulgences which tended to relax 
the vigour of mind and body. His favourite studies were artistic, 
especially music and singing ; in oratory he was not thought to be 
proficient. It was a matter of remark that he required the help of 
Seneca to compose the funeral oration of his uncle. 

§ 2. The succession of Nero to the Principate was readily 
acquiesced in by the people, the soldiers, and the senate. Yet 
there was a feeling that Britannicus, as the real son of Claudius, 
had a better claim than the adopted Domitius. It is significant 
that the will of Claudius was not read, but was silently passed 
over. No one, however, felt called upon to undertake the cause of 
Britannicus. This may have been partly due to the fact that the 
infidelity of his mother had cast a slur on his birth. The senators 
may have even preferred an Emperor whose claim was doubtful, in 
the hope that they might exert more influence in the administra- 
tion, if he felt dependent on their goodwill. It must be re- 
membered that, from a strictly constitutional point of view, 
Britannicus had no more claim to the Principate than Nero, and 
Nero, through his mother, was descended in direct line from 
Augustus. The first speech of the new Emperor in the senate, 
dictated doubtless by Seneca, produced a favourable impression. 
He promised not to interfere with the senate in the exercise of any 
of its functions, but to confine his activity to the armies. The senators 
lost no time in repealing a law of Claudius, by which lawyers were 
allowed to accept rewards for pleading causes, and in exempting 
qusestors from the burden of exhibiting gladiatorial shows, which 
the same Emperor had laid upon them. 

§ 3. The early years of Nero's rule were marked by a struggle for 
power between his mother and his two chief advisers, Seneca and 
Burrus. Agrippina had staked everything for power, and she did 
not intend to surrender the reins on her son's accession. It was 
not enough for her that Nero should rule ; she desired to rule 
herself. And Nero was devoted to her. His first watchword was 
" the best of mothers," and during the first months she behaved as 
the regent of the Empire. On coins her head appeared along with 
that of the Princeps, and she took upon herself to receive the 
ambassadors of foreign states. She hastened to remove from her 
path two enemies, the freedman Narcissus, and M. Silanus, pro- 
consul of Asia. She feared the vengeance of the latter for the 
death of his brother Lucius, whom she had destroyed as a possible 
rival of her son. Nero, who cared only to enjoy the pleasures of 
* Merivale, vi. 270. 

276 THE PKINOIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

his position, and not to fulfil its duties, had himself little objection 
to his mother's political activity ; but Burrus and Seneca were 
resolved not to concede the assumption of such power to a woman, 
especially as it seemed likely to be cruelly and unscrupulously 
exercised. In order to counteract her influence, they encouraged Nero 
in an intrigue with a Greek freedwoman named Acte. Agrippina 
was incensed, and her violent language drove the Emperor to attach 
himself more closely to the indulgent Seneca. She then changed 
her policy, and attempted to bid against the philosopher by still 
greater indulgence ; but the eyes of her son had been opened to her 
overbearing ambition. The first decisive triumph of the rivals of 
Agrippina was the disgrace of the freedman Pallas, with whom she 
had closely leagued herself, and on whose political experience she 
leaned. Nero, who had never liked him, and would not submit 
to his counsels, deprived him of his office, and dismissed him from 
the court (before February 13, a.d. 55). 

This was felt as a serious blow by Agrippina, and she made a 
desperate move to recover her power by espousing the cause of her 
stepson Britannicus. She declared that he was the true heir of 
Claudius; she threatened to rush with him to the camp, and 
ask the soldiers to judge between the daughter of Germanicus, and 
Burrus and Seneca. Whatever were her own crimes, she said, she 
had at least preserved the life of Britannicus. This action on her 
part proved fatal to the unlucky son of Claudius. Nero saw that 
his own seat was not secure as long as Britannicus lived, and he 
determined to remove him. The services of Locusta, which 
Agrippina had employed to hasten the death of Claudius, were 
now employed by her son to kill Britannicus. A warm wine-cup 
was presented to the boy at table, and when he found it too hot, 
cold water was added, into which a drop of deadly poison had been 
poured. He died instantaneously, to the alarm of all those who 
were present, and the unaffected consternation of Agrippina. The 
body was burnt the same night in the Campus, in the midst of a 
great storm, which was interpreted as a sign of divine wrath. It is 
impossible to know whether Seneca was privy to this deed, or 
whether it was solely due to the calculation of Nero. It is clear 
that the death of Britannicus was a decisive check to the plans of 
Agrippina, and the question is whether Seneca would have been 
ready to go to the length of poisoning in order to foil her and 
preserve his own position. But there is no evidence to prove him 
guilty, and therefore we must suppose him innocent. The death 
of Britannicus was represented as natural, and Nero professed to 
lament the loss of a dear brother. He had no curious inquiries to 
fear from the senate ; for the senate was content with the Emperor's 


policy, guided as it was by Seneca, and as long as the senate was 
content, fratricide and other crimes might be committed in the 
palace without interference. 

Popularity with the senate was indeed the keynote of Seneca's 
policy. The Emperor refused statues of gold and silver ; he 
declined the honour of letting the year begin with his birth-month, 
December; he dismissed the charge of a delator agaiust a knight 
and a senator. Such acts were counted to him for righteousness. 

Agrippina had lost her influence with Nero, and when, after the 
death of Britannicus, she posed as the protectress of Octavia, her 
son's wife, whom he treated with contemptuous neglect, and 
attempted to form a party of her own, he became alarmed. He 
caused the guard which had hitherto attended her to be removed, 
and forced her to leave the palace, and take up her residence in the 
house which formerly belonged to her grandmother Antonia. At 
these signs of disfavour her friends fell away, and Junia Silana,* 
who had a private grudge against her, attempted to work her ruin 
by a false charge of conspiracy. Two suborned informers stated 
that she had plotted to overthrow her son, and replace him by 
Rubellius Plautus,f who was as nearly related to Augustus as 
Nero himself. But on examination the charges fell through, and 
Silana was banished. 
> § 4. During the next three years Agrippina vanishes from the 
pages of history. Though her influence was gone, there seems to 
have been no open rupture. While Seneca and Burr us ad- 
ministered the affairs of the Empire, and an unwonted activity was 
permitted to the senate, the Emperor occupied his time in the 
licentious amusements of youth. Adopting a favourite pastime of 
profligate young nobles, he used to wander through the streets at 
night, disguised in the garb of a slave to conceal his person, and 
visit taverns and low haunts. He and his comrades used to seize 
goods exposed for sale, and assail those whom they encountered in 
their progress. The Emperor himself bore on his face the marks 
of wounds received in these brawls. When it became known that 
Nero was in the habit of masquerading thus, and many men and 
women of distinction had been insulted in his nocturnal escapades, 
others assumed his name and followed his example, so that the city 
was infested by gangs like the Mohawks, who in the last century 
used to make London dangerous at night. On one occasion a man 
of senatorian rank, named Julius Montanus, happened to meet Nero 
in the darkness. He first repelled his assailant vigorously, but 
afterwards recognised him, and sent in a petition for pardon. Nero, 

* Widow of C. Silius, the paramour of I + His mother was Julia, daughter of 
Messalina. ) Drusus (son of Tiberius) and Livilla. 


angry at being recognised, asked " Has he not, then, already dispatched 
himself, seeing that he struck Nero? '' and Montanus was obliged 
to destroy himself. But after this occurrence the Emperor was 
more cautious, and on such expeditions was always attended by 
a guard of soldiers and gladiators, to interfere if necessary. 

The two most intimate companions of Nero were two profligate 
men of fashion, Salvius Otho and Claudius Senecio. In 58 a.d., his 
intimacy with Otho led to an entanglement with Otho's wife 
Poppaea Sabina. She had been divorced from a former husband to 
marry Otho, and she regarded her second husband as merely a 
stepping-stone to a still higher alliance. She had determined to 
win the hand of Nero himself. The historian Tacitus has described 
with great art her coquetry, her fascinations, her audacity, and 
her wickedness. " She had all things except a high mind." * In 
her, Agrippina had indeed found a match. The Emperor suc- 
cumbed to her charms, and got rid of Otho by appointing him 
governor of Lusitania. In order to marry Nero, it was necessary 
for Poppaea to procure the divorce of Octavia, but she saw 
clearly that the chief obstacle to her plans was Agrippina, who 
had always striven to maintain the nominal union of her son and 
her stepdaughter. So Poppaea set herself to bring about a rupture 
between the Emperor and his mother. She had friends and 
supporters in Seneca and Burrus, the opponents of Agrippina, and 
she had made up her mind to step over the corpses of the two 
Empresses into the palace of the Caesars. 

§ 5. The daughter of Germanicus still possessed considerable 
influence with the praetorians, and it would have been dangerous 
to resort to public measures against her. But Nero, led on by the 
persuasions of his mistress Poppaea, did not shrink from contriving 
a scheme for her assassination. His old tutor Anicetus, whom he 
had raised to be captain of the fleet of Misenum, undertook to 
construct a vessel which could be sunk, without exciting suspicion, 
aud if it could be managed that Agrippina should embark in it, 
her destruction would be imputed by the world to the winds 
and waves. At the Quinquatrus, a festival of Minerva lasting 
five days in the month of March, Nero invited his mother 
to his villa near Baiae. She landed at Bauli, between Baiae and 
Cape Misenum, and completed her journey in a litter, but after the 
banquet, when night had fallen, she was induced to return to 
Bauli in the vessel which had been prepared for her destruction. 
But the mechanism did not do its work with the expected success, 
and Agrippina succeeded in swimming to shore, whence she pro- 
ceeded to her villa on the Lucrine lake. One of her maids. 
* Tac, Ann., xiii. 45 : Cuncta alia praeter honestum animum. 

59 a.d. DEATH OF AGKIPPINA. 279 

Acerronia, who in order to save her own life called out, " I am 
the Empress," was struck with oars, and drowned. Agrippina 
saw through the treachery which she had so narrowly escaped, 
but pretended to regard it as an accident, and sent her freedman 
Agerinus to bear to Nero the news of her fortunate escape. Nero, 
who had been waiting in agitation to learn that his mother 
Avas no more, was terror-stricken at the tidings that the 
plan had miscarried. He appealed for help in his difficulty 
to Burrus and Seneca, who, however, seem to have had no pait 
in the plot. But Anicetus undertook to finish the work. It 
was pretended that a dagger was found in the possession of 
Agerinus, the freedman of Agrippina, and that she had conspired 
against the Emperor's life. Anicetus, accompanied by a captain 
and a military tribune, hastened to the Lucrine villa. They found 
her lying on a couch, with a single attendant, all the others having 
deserted her at the approach of the assassins; and at their appearance 
the last slave fled. She was dispatched with many wounds, crying, 
" Strike the womb which bure Nero." She was buried by slaves, 
and Mnester a faithful freedman, slew himself on her pyre 
(59 A.D.). 

§ 6. If the matricide felt stings of remorse, they were speedily 
alleviated by the congratulations, which poured in on him from 
every side, on having escaped the plots of his mother. He wrote a 
letter to the senate, explaining the circumstances of her death, and 
there is no reason to suppose that this false account, embellished by 
the art of Seneca, and confirmed by the testimony of Burrus, was not 
generally believed. This is an instance of the way in which the 
senate served the Princeps as a means of reaching the public ear. 
The true story was probably known only to a few initiated persons ; 
and there was nothing improbable in a woman who had killed 
her husband planning to kill her son. Otherwise the great 
sympathy which was expressed for Nero is unintelligible. The 
senate decreed that thanksgivings should be offered for the 
Emperor's safety, and that golden statues of Minerva and the 
Emperor should be erected in the senate-house. The Quinquatrus 
were henceforward to be celebrated by public games, and 
Agrippina's birthday to be regarded as a day of ill-omen. All 
those persons who had been sent into exile owing to her influence 
were permitted to return. Nero's entry into Borne was like a 
triumph. He ascended to the Capitol and offered thanks to the 
gods for his preservation. 

280 THE PRINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

Sect. II. — The Ascendency of Popp^ea and Tigellinus. 

§ 7. Agrippina, with all her unscrupulous ambition, had a high 
conception of the imperial dignity, of which Nero was totally 
devoid. After her death, there was no restraint to hinder him from 
following his bent, and indulging his theatrical and artistic tastes, 
in a manner which set at defiance all the national prejudices of the 
Romans. His great desire was to appear in public, in tragic 
costume, and delight the ears of his subjects by singing and playing 
on the lyre, or to guide a chariot with his own hands in the 
circus. When Seneca represented that such acts hardly befitted 
the dignity of the Emperor, Nero answered him with appeals to the 
superior culture of the Greeks, and the example of his uncle Gaius. 
Seneca and Burrus, seeing that there was no help for it, tried 
at least to limit the performances of the Emperor to a select 
audience. A circus was erected in the Vatican vaUey, and there a 
privileged number of courtiers were permitted to admire the skill 
of the imperial charioteer. But if his guides thought that he would 
be satisfied with this concession, they were mistaken ; it only 
stimulated him to more public exhibitions. He was resolved to 
appear as a singer and an actor. He seized the occasion on which 
his beard was first clipped to institute a feast called Juvenalia, 
to be celebrated within the palace. Numerous invitations were 
issued, and noble young Romans were induced to contend as singers 
and dancers for the prizes which the Emperor offered. Nero him- 
self descended on the stage with his lyre in his hand, and a band of 
young men, called Augustiani, were enrolled to applaud the 
excellence of his singing. Burrus is described as looking on, 
" grieving, but applauding " (59 a.d.). In the following year, the 
Emperor instituted another feast, called by his own name Neronia, 
modelled strictly on the great Greek games, and to be held every 
five years. In the musical contests he took part himself. These 
exhibitions were far more harmless than the horrible gladia- 
torial shows, but they outraged national prejudice and are spoken 
of with disgust by Roman historians. , Nero's ideals were altogether 
Greek, and he cared little for the spectacles of the arena. Brought 
up by Seneca in the Stoic philosophy, he had imbibed at least the 
spirit of cosmopolitanism and was not influenced in the least by the 
political traditions of Rome. 

§ 8. The year 62 a.d. was a turning-point in Nero's reign. 
Hitherto he had been under the constraint of Burrus and Seneca, 
who, while they indulged judiciously his liceutious and frivolous 
tastes, had prevented him from exerting his imperial power to the 


detriment of the state. Thus the first five years of Nero's reign 
hecame proverbial for good government — the quinquennium Neronis- 
The death of Burrus early in 62 a.d. was the beginning of a change 
for the worse. The influence of Seneca, deprived of his friend's 
support, immediately began to wane. It seems to have been 
almost impossible to exercise an important influence in political 
affairs, except in concert with the praatorian prefect, and Seneca 
could not act with the new prefects, Sofonius Tigellinus and Fsenius 
Rufus, as he had acted with Burrus. But his estrangement from his 
former pupil was chiefly due to the enmity of Poppaea, who was 
jealous of the old courtier's influence over her lover. It was mainly 
due to Burrus and to Seneca that she had not yet succeeded in dis- 
placing Octavia, and marrying the Emperor. Burrus, when asked 
to consent to the divorce, had replied with characteristic bluntness, 
" If you put away the daughter of Claudius, at least restore the 
Empire which was her dowry." Poppsea now endeavoured to remove 
Seneca from her path, as she had before removed Agrippina. His 
riches were imputed to him as a crime, and he was charged with 
the design of corrupting the populace for treasonable purposes. It 
was said too, that he had boasted his own superiority to the 
Emperor in verse -writing and oratory. Nero's jealousy and fears 
were easily aroused, and his altered manner showed the philosopher 
the dangerous position in which he stood. He took the precaution 
of giving up all the outward pomp which he had hitherto maintained, 
and meditated a complete abandonment of public life. 

§ 9. Of the two praetorian prefects who had succeeded Burrus, 
Rufus remained insignificant, but Tigellinus, a man of obscure 
birth and no principles, soon worked himself into the Emperor's 
confidence, by humouring and sharing in his vices. If he had only 
been the companion of his debaucheries, it might have mattered 
little to the general welfare, but he was also the instigator of 
cruelty. The tyranny which marked Nero's later years dates from 
the appearance of Tigellinus on the scene. The two acts which 
inaugurated it, were the executions of Rubellius Plautus and 
Cornelius Sulla. On the appearance of a comet in the year 60, which 
was supposed to betoken the fall of the Princeps, rumour spoke of 
Rubellius Plautus as the probable successor. Nero advised him, 
and the advice was equivalent to a command, to retire to his estates 
in Asia, and there he had lived quietly ever since. Tigellinus 
representtd to the Emperor that Plautus was still dangerous, in 
consequence of his reputation, his wealth, and the proximity of 
Asia to the Syrian armies. Accordingly a centurion with sixty 
soldiers were sent from Rome, with a eunuch of the palace, to 
remove the obnoxious noble, and Plautus, although he was warned 

282 THE PRINCIPATE OF NEEO. Chap. xvii. 

by his friends beforehand, and might have fled to Persia, calmly 
awaited his fate. Cornelius Sulla, the husband of Antonia, 
daughter of Claudius by Psetina, had been suspected of disloyalty 
four years before, and ordered to reside in Massilia. He was not 
rich, but his noble descent, his connection with the Claudian house, 
combined with the suspicions which he had previously aroused, 
decided his doom. After this specimen of tyranny no senator could 
consider himself safe, and the tone of the senate now changes from 
independence to servility. Tigellinus and Poppsea were triumphant, 
and Seneca left the field. 

§ 10. The time had now come for Poppsea to accomplish her 
great project, and induce Nero to divorce Octavia. Tigellinus 
helped her. A charge was got up of criminal intercourse with an 
Alexandrine flute-player, and the praetorian prefect conducted 
the investigation. Under torture some of the Empress's slave- women, 
acknowledged the guilt of their mistress, but most of them denied 
it. On such evidence there was no pretext for putting the accused to 
death, as Poppasa wished, and Nero contented himself with divorcing 
her on the ground of barrenness. The palace of Burrus and the 
possessions of Plautus were assigned for her maintenance, and she 
was commanded to retire to Campania. But the universal 
sympathy, which the lot of this unfortunate and innocent lady 
aroused among all classes, proved her destruction. A rumour was 
suddenly spread that the Emperor had recalled his wife. It was 
quite groundless, for Nero had already married Poppsea, whose 
statues were erected in the public places in the city. But the 
people rushed in excitement to the Capitol, thanked the gods that 
the Emperor had recognised the just claim of the true daughter of 
the Csesars, and thrust down the images of Poppsea, while they bore 
those of Octavia in triumph. The soldiers of Tigellinus dispersed 
the masses when they gathered round the imperial palace. Poppsea 
saw that while her rival lived, her position was insecure, and 
she easily persuaded her husband to consent to the execution of 
Octavia. Anicetus, the prefect of the fleet at Misenum, who had 
proved himself so useful in compassing the death of Agrippina, again • 
supplied his services for the destruction of a second victim. He 
laid a confession before the Emperor that he had committed adultery 
with Octavia^ and was sentenced to banishment to Sardinia, where 
he lived in luxury and died a natural death. Octavia was banished 
to the island of Pandateria, where she was executed (June 9th, 
62 A.D.). Her head was cut off and carried to Poppsea, who could now 
breathe freely. By a decree of the senate, sacrifices of thanksgiving 
were offered to the gods; and, says Tacitus, it may be henceforward 
understood without special mention, that " whenever the Princeps 


ordered banishments or executions, thanksgivings were paid to the 
gods, and the ceremonies which formerly marked prosperous events, 
were then the tokens of some public disaster." 

In the following year (63 a.d.) Poppaea bore a daughter to Nero. 
The senate decreed her the title Augusta, which had not been 
granted to Octavia, but, from this time forward, this title no longer 
possessed the same political importance which it had for Livia and 
Agrippina. Nero was overjoyed at the birth of the child, who 
was named Claudia, but she died after three months, and then 
his grief was as extravagant as his joy. Claudia was enrolled in 
the rank of the divas, like Drusilla, the sister of Gaius. Poppsea 
herself died two years later in premature child-birth, owing, it is 
said, to an accidental kick from Nero. She also was consecrated, 
the first Empress since Livia who had received that honour. 

§ 11. Under the new order of tilings, Poppsea and Tigellinus 
having taken the place of Seneca and Burrus, the luxury and 
cruelty wh ; ch prevailed in the reign of Gaius, and the gluttony of the 
court of Claudius, were renewed. Nero's debauchery was practised 
as publicly as his acting and chariot-driving. Banquets were spread 
in all the public places of the city, and the Emperor used the whole 
city as if it had been his private house. The luxury of these revels, 
devised by the genius of Tigellinus, was notorious, and the citizens 
were permitted to be spectators of the Emperor's licentiousness. 
On one occasion a feast was laid out on a large raft, which was 
towed along by ships in the Basin of Agrippa.* The vessels were 
adorned with gold and ivory, and were rowed by men of abandoned 
character. On the banks of the basin, stood disreputable houses, 
filled with women of noble birth. Nero himself is said to have 
crowned his infamy by going through all the rites of the marriage 
ceremony, the veil, the dowry, the torches, the auspices, with a 
man named Pythodorus. Although the stories told by the ancient 
historians of the debaucheries of Nero and his court may be 
exaggerated, yet there can be no doubt that exhibitions of wanton- 
ness took place with a shameless publicity, which seems almost 
incredible to a modern reader. 

§ 12. The extravagance and prodigality, which went hand in 
hand with the vices of the court, emptied the imperial coffers, and 
brought about a financial crisis, just as had happened in the similar 
case of Gaius. The earlier years of Nero had been signalised by a 
liberal and enlightened financial policy. Claudius had left him a 
well-filled treasury, such as Tiberius had left to Gaius, and he made a 
serious attempt to relieve the burdens of the masses, upon whom 
the indirect taxes fell so heavily. In the year 58 a remarkable 
* Probably in the Campus Martius. 

284 THE PRINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

proposal was made by the Emperor to do away with the vectigalia, 
and as we should say, establish " free trade." There is no reason to 
suppose that this measure was intended to be confined, as some 
have supposed, to Roman citizens, or to the city of Rome. Its 
object was both to relieve the people and to set aside a mode of 
taxation which was attended with much injustice and fraud. There 
can be no doubt that it was proposed to make up the loss to the 
treasury by increasing the direct taxes, which fell upon the pro- 
ducers and capitalists, who would have profited by the remission 
of the duties. But the Emperor's project did not get a trial ; his 
experienced advisers represented to him that it would mean the 
ruin of the state. The opposition doubtless came from those 
privileged classes which had invested large capital in the farming 
of taxes, and who would have suffered if the duty on inheritances 
had been raised. But although this bold design fell through, it 
led to some important changes which alleviated the hardships of 
the taxation in its various forms. One measure commanded the 
publication of the exact amounts of all dues to the state, so 
as to prevent the tax-collectors from exacting too much ; charges 
against them for extortion were to have precedence in the 
courts ; and claims for arrears were not to be made after a year. 
The duties on corn imported to Italy from the provinces were 

The expenses which fell on the fiscus were heavy. Every year 
Nero presented 60,000,000 sesterces (£480,000) " to the state." This 
sum was chiefly devoted to defray the cost of supplying the city with 
corn, but it also included an advance to the aerarium, which was 
never able to meet its claims without aid from the fisc. The wars 
in Armenia and Britain were also costly, over and above the ordinary 
expenses of maintaining the administration and the armies through- 
out the Empire. The consequence was that, when the outlay of 
the court became extravagant under the guidance of Tigellinus and 
Nero's other licentious friends, the funds ran short, and the Emperor 
was driven to resort to the same measures to replenish his treasury 
as had been adopted by his uncle Gaius. The methods of delation 
and confiscation were again introduced. The rich were accused on 
false or trifling charges, and their possessions appropriated by the fisc. 
Among the first victims who were saciificed were two rich freedmen : 
Nero's secretary Doryphorus, who had presumed to oppose his 
master's marriage with Poppaaa, and the old Pallas, who had amassed 
an immense fortune, which, when he was deposed from his office, 
he had been suffered to retain. As Pallas had become wealthy by 
defrauding the imperial treasury which he administered under 
Claudius, there was no glaring injustice in confiscating his fortune. 


Seneca offered to place his wealth at the Emperor's disposal, but the 
offer was refused. 

But the most important effect of the financial difficulties was the 
fatal measure to which the government resorted of depreciating the 
gold and silver coinage. This began as early as the years 61 and 62. 
Forty-five instead of forty aurei, and ninety-six instead of eighty 
denarii, were struck out of a pound of gold. The coinage never 
recovered itself, and from Nero's reign we must date the bankruptcy 
which reached a climax in the third century. The immense amount 
of silver which was drafted from the Empire to Eastern Asia in 
return for oriental luxuries, must be taken into account as a cause 
of the debasement of the silver coinage. Nero, further, robbed the 
senate of their right of coining copper — a right, the importance of 
which has been already explained.* 

Sect. III. — The Great Fire in Home. 

§ 13. If Nero succeeded in replenishing his coffers by fair means 
and foul, an event happened in 64 a.d., which demanded all the 
resources of the fiscus. Fires were common in Eome, but on the 
night of July 18 of that year, a conflagration broke out which in 
magnitude exceeded anything that had been experienced before. It 
began among some shops full of inflammable material, at the south- 
east end of the Great Circus, where the valleys west of the Caslian 
and south of the Palatine meet. Driven by a high wind the flames 
consumed the wooden benches and structures of the Circus, and 
spread rapidly and irresistibly over the Palatine, the Velia, and the 
Esquiline, where, near the gardens of Mascenas, their course was 
stayed. But in another direction, also, the fire made its way, and 
consumed many buildings on the Aventine, in the Forum Boarium, 
and the Velabrum. It raged for seven nights and six days, and 
when all thought that it was over, it broke out again in the Campus 
Martins, destroyed the buildings of the iEmilian Gardens, which 
belonged to Tigellinus, and spread to the foot of the Capitoline and 
the Quirinal. It was said that of the fourteen regions, seven 
completely and four partially were reduced to ashes. But it has 
been shown that this must be an exaggeration, although the damage 
done was enormous. Among the public buildings which were 
consumed, were the temple of Jupiter Stator founded by Romulus, 
the Regia of Numa, and the temple of Vesta, the temple of Diana 
dedicated by Servius on the Aventine, the Ara Magna ascribed'by 
legend to Evander — all ancient monuments said to date from the 
* See above, Chap. III. $ 5. 

286 THE PRINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

time of the kings. More serious, from a practical point of view, 
was the destruction of the splendid edifices of Augustus on the 
Palatine, the palace and the temple of Apollo. The new build- 
ings in the Campus Martius near the Flaminian Circus had also 
seriously suffered. Numbers of priceless works of the great Greek 
sculptors, which no wealth could ever replace, perished in the 
flames, and countless memorials and trophies of Eoman history- 
must have been lost for ever. 

In this emergency Nero showed himself in the most favourable 
light. He was absent at Antium when the fire broke out, and he 
returned to the city as the conflagration was approaching the palace, 
He left nothing undone in his attempts to quell the flames. He 
rushed about the city by himself, without attendants or guards, to 
the places which were most in danger, and when at length the fire 
ceased to spread, he did all he could to help and relieve the terrible 
distress of the homeless and shelterless thousands who had lost all 
their belongings. The public buildings and the imperial gardens 
were opened to receive them, and a temporary shelter was erected 
in the Campus. The price of corn was lowere 1 to three sesterces a 
bushel, and contributions were levied for the relief of the sufferers. 

The rebuilding of Rome was begun with vigour. It must have 
involved a vast outlay, and Nero was determined that the city 
should arise from its ashes both on a more splendid scale and on a 
more rational and salubrious plan. The mistakes of the old archi- 
tecture were comprehended and avoided. The streets were made 
wider, the houses lower and, partly at least, of stone. Arcades 
were built outside the new houses for protection from sun and rain. 
But the new palace — the Golden House as it was called — planned 
by the architects Severus and Celer, was the wonder of the restored 
Rome. It was not so much the spL ndour of the house that excited 
wonder, as the fields, the ponds, the wooded solitudes, the views of 
the park Italv and the provinces were required to contribute to the 
rest* >ration of their mistress city, and treasures of art which adorned 
ihe ci'ies and temples of the Greek lands were carried off to replace 
those which Rome had lose. 

§ 14. There is no reason to suppose that the outbreak of fchis 
great fire was other than accidental. But the multitude suspected 
incendiaries, and a wild rumour was circulated that the Emperor 
himself was privy to the burning of the city. Various motives 
were attributed for such a monstrous act. It was said that he 
wished to outlive the destruction of his mother-city, or that he 
desired to rebuild Rome and call it by his own name, or that his 
artistic sense was offended by the architectural ugliness of the city. 
It is also related that he regarded the ravages of the flames from 

64 A.D. 



the palace of Maecenas with delight, and sang a scene from Ids own 

play on the Capture of Troy. For this anecdote there may be some 

foundation in fact. But the charge of incendiarism, which even 

contemporaries brought against Nero, was assuredly false. He had 

nothing to gain and everything to lose by the destruction of Rome. 

The solicitude which he always showed for the welfare of the 

populace, and the efforts which he made to save the Palatine, are 

hardly consistent with such a supposition. Nor is it conceivable 

that, at a moment when he was pressed by financial difficulties, he 

would have gone out of his way to burden the treasury with the 

enormous expenses required for the rebuilding of the city and the 

maintenance of the sufferers. The Emperor had many enemies, 

whose interest it was to place him in the worst light, and we can 

easily understand that they either originated or fostered the rumour. 

But it was generally believed that incendiaries were at work, 

and there were police investigations which led to the arrest and 

punishment of a number of people " whom the vulgar called 

Christians." Here for the first time the Christian sect appears on 

the stage of profane history, and the remarkable words in which 

Tacitus describes it deserve to be quoted. u Christus, from whom this 

name was derived, was executed when Tiberius was Imperator, by 

Pontius Pilatus the procurator. The pernicious superstition, checked 

for the time being, again broke out, not only in Judea, its original 

home, but even in the city, the meeting-place of all horrible and 

immoral practices from all quarters of the world." This description 

represents the popular belief that the Christians practised all sorts ; 

of horrors in their secret assemblies, such as cannibalism and incest. 

Those w T ho were known to be Christians, and confessed the creed' 

when they were charged with it, were first arrested, and some of 

these, under torture, betrayed the names of many others who were 

Secretly Christians, but were not known as such. The prisoners 

were not tried strictly on the charge of incendiarism ; and Tacitus 

seems to have no doubt of their innocence of this crime, which could 

not be "brought home to them. But as " hatred of the human race" 

was in popular credence imputed to Christians, they were thought 

capable of it. A considerable number were condemned — really 

because they were proved to be Christians, but nominally on the 

ground that they were incendiaries. They were put to death with 

mockery. Some, wrapped in skins, were torn to pieces by dogs ; 

others, arrayed in the tunica molesta, were set on fire to serve as 

torches by night.* Nero gave up his Vatican gardens to the 

* Juvenal describes this punishment in 
the lines {Sat. i. 155 sqq.) : 
Pone Tigellinum, taeda lucebis in ilia, 

Qua stantes ardent qui fixo pectore 

Et latum media sulcum deducit harena. 

288 THE PRINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap, xvii- 

spectacle of these tortures, and at the same time exhibited a show 
in the circus there, appearing himself dressed as a charioteer. The 
sacrifice of these victims soothed the exasperation of the populace^ 
and the Emperor's callousness even brought about a revulsion of 

The Christians of Rome were sacrificed because Nero required 
scapegoats ; but the question arises, why were the Christians, who 
as yet had attracted little public attention, selected for the purpose ? 
Contemporary literature shows that at this time the Jews were 
objects of general hatred and suspicion, and it might seem more 
natural that they should have been suspected and punished by the 
government. It is impossible to answer the question with certainty, 
but it has been plausibly suggested that the Jews themselves may 
have shifted the charge from their own body upon the Christians, 
whom they hated bitterly. They might have been the more easily 
able to effect this through the influence of Poppasa Sabina of whose 
leaning towards the Jews and their religion there is undoubted 

Sect. IV. — The Conspiracy of Piso. 

§ 15. Tigellinus was unwearied in scenting out pretenders to the 
Principate. By this policy, he helped to fill the imperial coffers and 
to render himself indispensable. In 64 a.d., D. Junius Torquatus 
Silanus was accused of treason and driven to suicide. But a pro- 
found and widely-spread discontent prevailed among the nobles, and 
a conspiracy was formed, which came to a head in the spring of 65 
a.d. C. Calpurnius Piso, whom the conspirators chose to fill the 
place of Nero, was one of the most prominent and popular men in 
Rome at this time. He lived in magnificent style, was lavish of his 
wealth, and was ready to place his powers of oratory at the service of 
the poor. He had winning manners, and his life was as dissolute as 
that of Nero or Tigellinus. He lazily consented to be the centre of 
a plot, the dangers of which he was not sufficiently ambitious to 
share. What seemed to give this enterprise a considerable chance 
of success, was the adherence of Fsenius Rufus, the praetorian prefect, 
who was jealous and afraid of his powerful colleague Tigellinus, 
Along with Rufus a number of the tribunes and officers, who had 
been passed over by Tigellinus, joined the conspiracy; conspicuous 
among these was the tribune Subrius Flavius. Among the rest 
were the consul designate Plautius Lateranus : Antonius Natalis, a 
friend of Piso ; Annseus Lucanus, the poet, whose verses had 
incurred the disfavour of the Emperor ; Claudius Senecio, a 
* She interceded for them on other occasions. 

65 a.d. CONSPIRACY OF PISO. 289 

courtier constantly in attendance on Nero, and so able to keep his 
associates aware of what was going on in the palace. Lucan's mother 
and a freed woman named Epicharis were also initiated into the pro- 
ject. Epicharis tried to win over an officer of the fleet, Yolusius 
Proculus, who was supposed to have a grudge against Nero, but he 
deceived her expectation by revealing the affair to the Emperor- 
As, however, she had mentioned no names, the conspirators were 
not discovered. 

They then decided to kill Nero during the feast of Ceres, between 
the 12th and 19th of April, at the games in the circus. The plan 
was the same as that which had been successfully adopted by the 
assassins of Julius Csesar. Lateranus was to present a petition to 
Nero, and clinging to his legs throw him on the ground ; the rest 
were to bury their weapons in his body. But Flavius Scsevinus, who 
claimed the first blow, foolishly betrayed the secret, which had 
hitherto been closely preserved. He made his will, gave the dagger, 
which he had chosen for the deed, to his freedman Milichus to 
sharpen, got ready the appliances for binding up wounds, and gave 
his slaves and freedmen a luxurious feast. These unusual proceed- 
ings excited the suspicions of Milichus, who at daybreak sought and 
obtained an audience with Nero. Scsevinus was arrested, but his 
examination led to nothing, and the plot would not have been dis- 
covered if Milichus had not remembered the frequent visits which 
his master received from Natalis. When Natalis was examined 
separately, his evidence did not agree with that of Scsevinus, and in 
this way the accusation of the freedman was proved to be well- 
founded. Threats of torture and promises of mercy induced the two 
conspirators to vie with each other in revealing the names of their 
associates. Their conduct contrasted with the constancy of Epi- 
charis, who submitted to tortures, and in the end strangh d herself 
rather than betray her trust. The names of the military con- 
spirators had not been disclosed, and Fsenius Kufus took his seat 
beside Tigellinus at the trial and songht to divert suspicion from 
himself by his zeal as a judge. But when one of the accused 
denounced him, he turned pale, and could not defend himself. The 
proceedings against the victims were summary, but they were 
allowed to choose their own mode of death. Piso, who had shown 
irresolution and cowardice through the whole episode, and Lateranus 
were slain without resistance, and Piso made a cringing will in 
favour of the Emperor. 

§ 16. Among the first whose names were betrayed, and who were 

condemned to die, was the philosopher Seneca. It is not improbable 

that he was really implicated in the enterprise, and in any case it 

seems to have been the wish of the military associates in the plot 



to elevate him, instead of Piso, to the supreme power. If Nero 
had any wish to spare his former tutor, he was hindered by Poppaea 
and Tigellinus. Seneca had just returned from Campania with his 
wife Paulina, and was staying at a country house four miles from 
the city. When the message of death was brought, his wife 
declared her resolution of dying along with him, and they severed 
the veins of their arms. The flow of blood in Seneca's old frame 
was ■ languid, and his agony was protracted. As he lay slowly 
bleeding, he dictated a composition which was afterwards published. 
To hasten his end, he swallowed poison, which, however, had no 
effect on his drained bod3 T , and death was finally brought about by 
the steam of a hot bath. But Paulina was not permitted to die. 
Nero had no cause of hatred against her, and her arms were bound 
up by the orders of the soldiers. She lived some years longer, 
faithful to her husband's memory, aud the lasting pallor of her 
skin was a monument of her attempt to die with him. 

The fate of this distinguished philosopher and that' of his 
nephew, the poet Lucan, give this abortive conspiracy a certain 
celebrity. Lucan opened his veins in the bath, an-1, as he felt the 
animation depart from his feet and hands, recited appropriate 
verses of his own, describing a wounded soldier bleeding to 
death.* Subrius Flavus, a tribune of one of the praetorian cohorts, 
distinguished himself by his bold words to Nero. When the 
tyrant asked him why he conspired, he replied: "Because I hated 
you. None of the soldiers was more loyal, as long as you deserved 
our affection. I began to hate you, when you became an assassin 
of your mother and your wife, a charioteer, an actor and an in- 
cendiary ! " The consul Yestinus was included among the victims, 
although his guilt was not clear, and it is said that Nero wanted 
to get rid of him, on account of his wife Statilia Messalina. Nero 
married Messalina in the following year. 

Natalis was pardoned. Milichus was richly rewarded, and 
received the name of " Preserver." The praetorian guards received 
each man two thousand sesterces, and were for the future provided 
with bread free of cost. Triumphal decora' ions were granted to 
the prefect Tigellinus, Cocceius Nerva, and Petronius Turpilianus, 
who had helped in the judicial proceedings, and their statues were 
set up in the Palatium. Consular insignia were conferred on 
Nymphidius Sabinus, who had succeeded Faenius Rufus as prae- 
torian prefect. A temple- was erected to Solus, the dagger of 
Scaevinus was dedicated to Jupiter the Avenger, and the month of 
April was named Neronianus. It was even proposed, but the 
proposal was rejected, to erect a temple to Nero. It is noteworthy 
* Perhaps Pharsalia, iii. 635-646. 


that a full account of the judicial proceedings, which were con- 
ducted by the imperial consilium, was published. 

§ 17. Both later in 65 a.d., and in the succeeding year, executions 
took place which seem to have been in some way connected with 
the conspiracy of Piso. Annseus Mela, brother of Seneca and 
father of Lucan, was condemned on the ground of a forged letter 
of his son, charging him with complication in Piso's plot. He was 
a rich man, and Nero wanted his possessions. About the same 
time perished T. Pttr.-nius, on the charge of a suspicious friendship 
with the conspirator Scasvinus, but really on account of the 
jealousy of Tigellinus. Petronius was a man who made the plea- 
sures of vice a fine art, and his judgment was regarded as the 
standard of taste in all matters of luxury at Rome. He was " the 
glass of fashion." his feasts were elegant, his debauchery refined. 
He was nam< d Arbiter, as the arbitrator or director of the Emperor's 
pleasures, and Tigellinus, who aspired to be Nero's sole guide in 
such things, envied the influence of Petronius. When the Em- 
peror was in Campania (66 a.d.), Tigellinus caused Petronius to be 
detained at Cumas. Seeing that his fate was determined, the 
voluptuary was true to the principles of his life in the moments of 
his death. Having opened his veins, he bade the physician bind 
them up again, and repeating this operation at intervals, he spent 
his last hours at a banquet, amusing his friends with wanton 
vei'ses. He also composed an account of the unnatural orgies of 
the Emperor, and sent it to him under seal. This led to the 
banishment of a woman named Silia, whom Nero suspected of 
having betrayed the scenes in the palace in which she had taken 

§ 18. " Having butchered so many illustrious men, Nero at 
length desired to destroy virtue herself by the death of Thrasea 
Paetus and Barea Soranus." P. Clodius Thrasea Partus was more 
remarkable for what he was than for anything he did. He was 
the leader of the party of opposition which yearned, helplessly, 
for the restoration of the Republic and set up the younger Cato 
as their ideal. He was the embodiment of their virtues and 
their faults. Born at Patavium, he was simple in his habits, 
incorruptible in his morals, and out of sympathy with the 
luxury of Rome. He married Arria, the daughter of a man who 
had fallen in a conspiracy against Claudius, and whose wife had 
heroically slain herself. He and his son-in-law, Helvidius Priscus, 
used to crown themselves with garlands, and celebrate the birth- 
days of Brutus and Cassius. Thrasea distinguished himself in the 
senate by his rough independence. He withdrew, without voting, 
when the motion was made to condemn the memory of Agrippina ; 



Chap. xvii. 

he declined to take any part in the Neronian games ; he did not 
attend the funeral of Poppsea. When one Antistius was con- 
demned to death for mocking the Emperor in verse, Thrasea 
endeavoured to moderate the flattery of the senate. It was said 
that he never sacrificed for the Emperor's safety. He and his 
party were always protesting against the government in insig- 
nificant matters, and asserting their independence in trifles. Their 
republican ideal was an anachronism ; their rhetoric was hollow. 
Their activity was chiefly confined to society and literature. 
Thrasea was a Stoic, and he composed a life of his model, Cato. 
Lucan's Pharsalia was a characteristic work of this party of 
opposition, which, throughout the whole period of the Julian 
and Claudian dynasties, fostered its Utopias and repeated its hollow 
phrases. It must be owned that they had the courage of their 
opinions, and that their bitterness against the Principate was, 
natural enough ; for its institution had destroyed the political 
power of the senatorial order. Nor could they see, as clearly as 
we can see now, that even imperial despotism was a lesser evil for 
the Roman world than the government of the senate in the last 
days of the Republic. 

The courageous obstinacy of Thrasea led to his destruction. All 
his little sins of omission and commission against the majesty of the 
Emperor were marshalled by Capito Cossutianus, a son-in-law of 
Tigellinus, and another delator, Eprius Marcellus ; and at the same 
time Barea Soranus was accused on various charges ; among others, 
that he had been intimate with Rubellius Plautus. The chief 
witness against him was P. Egnatius Celer, a Stoic philosopher. 
The daughter of Soranus, Servilia, was also charged with treason- 
able divination concerning Nero. The cases were tried by the 
senate, and all three were condemned.* Helvidius Priscus, who 
was likewise accused of neglecting his duties as senator, was 
banished. Thrasea adopted the usual mode of death among 
condemned nobles, and opened his veins, forbidding his wife Arria 
to follow her mother's example. As the first blood spouted, he 
said, " A libation to Jove the Deliverer ! " 

§ 19. In the meantime Nero had been busy with those pursuits 
for which he imagined that he had a special calling. He had 
appeared publicly on the stage at Neapolis (64 a.d.), where, from 
the Greek character of the city, he expected a favourable reception, 
and he received such enthusiastic applause that he determined to 

* These trials took place about the 
same time of the year (66 a.d.) that 
Tiridates arrived in Rome to receive the 
crown of Armenia from Nero; probably 

about the middle of the year. — Cf. Juvenal, 
Sat., iii. 116 : 

Stoicus occidit Baream delator, amicuin 
Discipulumque senex. 

66, 67 a.d. NERO IN GREECE. 293 

exhibit his skill to Greece herself. He had made preparations for 
a visit to that country, but the project was not carried out until 
two years later. In the meantime he celebrated the Neronia a 
second time (65 a.d.), read his poems to a delighted audience, and 
appeared as a citharcedus. It was considered almost high treason 
not to appear in the theatre on such occasions. Towards the close 
of the following year (66) Nero visited Greece, where he appeared 
at all the public spectacles, and danced and sang without any 
reserve. Those towns in which musical contests were held had 
sent invitations to him, offering him prizes, and the four great 
games at Olympia, Delphi, Isthmus, and Nemea, which were 
regularly celebrated in successive years, were crowded into the 
space of one year for his sake, so that he could win the glory of 
being a periodonihos or victor at all four.* Besides this irregularity, 
a musical contest was held at Olympia, contrary to wont. He also 
competed in a chariot-race, and is said to have received the prize, 
though his horses and chariot fell. The proclamation was made in 
this form : " Nero the Emperor is victorious, and crowns the 
People of the Romans and the world which is his," Nero was 
attended on his Greek tour by a large train of courtiers and 
prastorian guards, and he seems to have indulged in debauchery 
with less reserve than ever. He had a profound admiration for 
Greece and the Greek people, and he could not brook that they 
should hold the position of mere provincials. He determined to 
reward them for their kindness to himself and their appreciation of 
his artistic talents. So he enacted at Corinth the scene which, 
two-and-a-half centuries before, had been enacted by Flamininus. 
He proclaimed in the market-place the freedom of the Greeks ; the 
province of Achaia was done away with. The proclamation of 
Nero was very different in practical effect from that of Flamininus. 
It was harmless ; it did not mean civil war ; it merely relieved a 
favoured portion of the Empire from the burden of taxation. 
Nero's Greek visit was also marked by a serious attempt to cut 
through the Isthmus of Corinth, a project which had been most 
recently entertained by his uncle Gaius. Nero inaugurated the 
beginning of the work himself, but after his departure it was 

Nero's visit to Greece was marked by the destruction of three 
consular legates, of whose power or ambition the Emperor was 
jealous or afraid. The most important of these was Corbulo, 

* Juvenal has some well-known verses 
on this degradation of the imperial dignity 
(Sat., x. 224 sqq.) : 

Haec opera atque hae sunt generosi 
principis artes 

Gaudentis foedo peregrina ad pulpita 

Prostitui Graiseque apium meruisse 


294 THE PRLNCIPATE OF NEKO. Chap. xvii. 

whom we have already met on the Khine, and whose exploits in 
the east will be recorded in the following chapter. The other two 
were Scribonius Kufus and Scribonius Proculus, brothers, who at this 
time were the legati of the two Germanies. It is unknown, what 
accusations were preferred against them, or who were their enemies. 
While the Emperor was absent, he left a freedman named Helius 
as his representative in Rome, and he could probably have found 
no one more faithfully devoted to his interests. At the beginning 
of the year 68 a.d. serious signs of discontent were apparent in 
the provinces, and plots in the western armies against the Emperor 
were suspected. Helius crossed over to Greece, and urged Nero to 
return if he would save his power. He entered Rome, borne in the 
chariot in which Augustus had triumphed, crowned with the 
Olympian wreath. He was hailed as Nero Apollo and Nero 
Hercules, and coins were struck, on which he was depicted as a 
flute-player. But although be was flattered on all sides, he soon 
left Rome for Campania, where he breathed more freely. 

Sect. V. — The Revolt of Yindex, and Fall of Neko. 

§ 20. The events which led to the fall of Nero began in Gaul, 
although it was not from Gaul that the final blow was to come. 
C. Julius Vindex, sprung of a noble Celtic family, but thoroughly 
Romanised and adopted into the imperial gens, was governor of 
Gallia Lugudunensis. At the beginning of 68 a.d , he raised the 
standard of revolt. It is not quite clear what his ultimate inten- 
tions were, but he seems to have conceived the idea of a kingdom 
of Gaul, ruled by himself, nominally perhaps dependent on the 
Empire, like the former kingdom of Mauretania. But it was 
practically an attempt to throw off the Roman yoke. Yindex may 
be regarded as a successor of Yercingetorix and Sacrovir. He 
collected from various parts of Gaul a force of about 100,000 men. 
The districts of the Arverni and the Sequani joined in the move- 
ment, and the town of Yienna on the Rhone was a sort of centre 
for the rebellion. But Lugudunum, the capital of the Three 
Provinces, held aloof, as did the "Lingones and the Treveri on the 
borders of Germany. The troops which Yindex gathered were 
ill-disciplined and ill-armed, the enterprise was hopeless unless he 
could induce some of the western armies to take part in it. His 
attempts to win the armies of the Rhine were fruitless, but he was 
more successful in Hither Spain. We have already met Galba, the 
governor of that province. He had distinguished himself slightly 
both on the Rhine and in Africa. He was already in his seventy- 

68 a.d. EEVOLT OF VINDEX. 295 

third year, and in his childhood had seen Augustus, who had said 
to him, according to report, " Thou shalt one day taste our empire/ 
It is probable that Galba had already thought of rebellion before he 
received the overtures from Yindex. Oracles were afloat that an 
Emperor was to arise from Spain. The revolt of Vindex, and the 
pressure of his lieutenant, T. Vinius, decided the old man ; and, as 
he belonged to the senatorial party, his declaration of rebellion 
took the form of declaring himself the servant of the senate. After 
considerable hesitation, on April 2nd he named himself the legatus 
senatus joopulique Romani in a speech delivered from his tribunal, 
and made preparations for war. In Spain he was supported by 
Otho, legatus of Lusitania, and Caecina, quaestor of Bsetica ; ■ but 
their adherence was of little consequence if the legions of the 
Rhine and Clodius Macer, governor of Africa, held aloof. 

§ 21. In the meantime the issue of the revolt of Vindex had 
been decided. When the news was brought, Nero returned to Rome, 
and took measures for its suppression. Those troops, which were 
already on their march from Germany and Britain to prosecute a 
war against the Sarmatians, received orders to return. But the 
quelling of the rebellion was due to Verginius Rufus, the legatus 
of Upper Grermany, who resisted all the endeavours of Yindex to 
gain him over.* Alarmed by the national character of the move- 
ment, Yerginius advanced with his own legions, reinforced by a 
division from the lower province, to Yesontio, which was threatened 
by the Gallic militia of the rebel. Yesontio, whose name has 
become Besancon, was a very important place ; for at it the roads 
from Lower Germany and north-western Gaul, from the Rhine and 
from the Jura mountains, met. Here a great battle took place. The 
legions were completely victorious, and Yindex was slain. It was 
not loyalty to Nero that had induced the Germanic army to repel 
the advances of Yindex : it was rather the Gallic character of the 
revolt. This is shown by the fact that after the victory they 
proclaimed their general Imperator. But he resisted the temptation. 
He was a man of lowly birth, and perhaps thought that he had no 
chance of being accepted by the nobility of Rome. In the inscrip- 
tion for his tomb, which he composed before his death, he mentions 
as the two creditable actions of his life his victory over Yindex and 
his refusal of the Empircf 

* Juvenal groups Verginius with 
Vindex and Galba, as if he too had taken 
part in the overthrow of Nero. What 
deed of Nero's tyranny, asks the satirist, 
deserved the vengeance of those three 
more than his singing and his scribbling ? 
(viii. 221 ) : 

Quid enim Verginius armis 

Debuit ulcisci magis aut cum Vindice 

Quod Nero tarn saava crudaque tyraunide 

fecit ? 
f Hie situs est Rufus pulso qui Vindice 

Imperium asseruit non sibi sed 


296 THE PKINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

§ 22. After the failure of the revolt in Gaul, the situation of 
Galba seemed hopeless, and he despaired himself. But he wis 
saved by the Emperor's want of resolution, and the treachery of 
the ministers. When the news of the defection in Spain arrived 
in Rome, "Nero confiscate! Galba's property, and himself assumed 
the consulship. He made preparations for an expedition against 
Galba, and appointed Petronius Turpilhmus as the commander. A 
new legion was organised from the troops of the fleet and called 
legio classica. But the praetorian guards, who were devoted to the 
Julian house, seemed to have remained quietly in their camp, 
instead of taking the field, as we should have expected. 

The prefect Tigellinus vanishes from the scene, and plays no 
part in the catastrophe of his master. His fall was probably due 
to the intrigues of Nymphidius Sabinus, the other prefect, who 
nominally embraced the cause of Galba, but was really aiming at 
securing the Empire for himself. If Nero had not utterly lost 
his head, he was secure in the loyalty of the praetorian guards, 
notwithstanding the aspirations of the prefect. But he was a 
coward, and his irresolution drove his supporters away. Dull 
dissatisfaction prevailed in Rome. Corn was dear, and when a ship 
arrived from Egypt which proved to be laden, not with corn, but 
with sand for the Emperor's arena, the discontent became acute. 
It was reported that Nero entertained the idea of abandoning 
Rome, and sailing to Alexandria, to make that city the capital of 
an eastern empire — the idea which Antonius had almost realised. 
The senate was naturally eager to overthrow the tyrant, who hated 
it, in favour of Galba, but feared to compromise itself until the 
praetorian guards had declared themselves. In order to draw them 
from their devotion to Nero, Nymphidius resorted to an artifice. lie 
peisuaded the Emperor, who was distracted with fear, to repair from 
the palace to the Servilian gardens, which lay close to the Tiber, 
on the road to Ostia. He then went to the camp and informed the 
soldiers that Nero had deserted them and left Rome. They were 
easily convinced that it was their interest to support Galba, and 
the wily prefect promised them in Galba's name a donative of 
30,000 sesterces each. He knew that Galba would never fulfil the 
promise, and he hoped, by means of the consequent dissatisfaction, 
to secure Lis own ends. Meanwhile, in the Servilian gardens tl e 
Emperor was devising counsels of despair. He was gradually 
deserted by his courtiers and most of his slaves and freedmen; and 
the prsetorian cohort, which was keeping guard at the palace, left 
its post at midnight. At length he determined to flee from Rome, 
but could induce no friend to share his danger, except a few freed- 
men. One officer scornfully quoted Virgil, " Is it so hard to die ? " 

68 ad. DEATH OF NERO. 297 

One of the imperial freedmen, named Phaon, offered his master 
the refuge of a villa, about four miles north-east of Rome, on the 
Via Patinaria, a cross-road connecting the Via Salaria and the Via 
Nomentana. Thither he started by night accompanied by Phaon, 
Epaphroditus, and two other freedmen. The historians have not 
failed to invest the night-ride and the last scene of Nero's life with 
dramatic colouring. The Via Nomentana went close to the 
prastorian camp and shouts in honour of Gralba reached the ears 
of the fugitives as they passed. The night was wild, with lightning 
and earthquakes. Nero crept into the villa by a narrow entrance 
at the back, in order not to arouse the suspicions of the slaves. 
There he lay on straw for hours, unable to make up his mind to 
die. " What an artist I am to perish ! " he said. But when a 
slave of Phaon arrived with the news that the senate had con- 
demned him to death more maiorum, and that he was being 
sought for everywhere, he made up his mind to escape a cruel 
execution. The tramp of horses' feet was heard in the distance, 
when he pressed a dagger to his throat, and it was driven home by 
Epaphroditus. As he was dying, a centurion entered, and pre- 
tended he had come to help him. " Too late ! — that was fidelity 
indeed ! " were Nero's last words. He perished on June 9, 68 a.d. 
His body was burnt, and the ashes were buried honorably in" the 
sepulchre of the Domitian gens on the Pincian hill. 

§ 23. At first the tidings of his fall caused universal joy. The 
senate, who, as soon as the decision of the prastorian guards was 
known, had hastened to sentence him to a punishment which was 
almost obsolete, condemned his memory and ordered his statues to 
be overthrown. The intense hatred which the senatorial party 
felt towards Nero is most clearly seen in literature. But among 
the mass of the people, a reaction soon set in. The tyrant's grave 
was adorned annually with wreaths of flowers. Many people 
doubted the reality of his death, and looked for his reappearance ; 
and under succeeding Emperors three false Neros arose and 
obtained a following. King Vologeses of Parthia sent an embassy, 
requesting the senate and the new Princeps to hold the memory of 
Nero in honour. Christians saw in Nero the Antichrist, and 
thought that as such he would come again. 

Nero was the last of the true Caasars — the last, we may say, ot 
the Julian line. Strictly he belonged, by adoption, to the Claudii, 
yet the Claudian and Julian houses had been so closely connected 
since the union of Augustus with Livia, that politically little dis- 
tinction was made between them. Nero was not only the adopted 
son of Claudius ; he was also, through his mother, the great-great- 
grandson of Augustus, and the grandson of Germanicus, who 

298 THE PEINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

belonged, by adoption, to the Julian gens. Thus it was felt, when 
Nero perished without an heir, that the line of the great Dictator 
had come to an end and a new epoch was beginning. 

§ 24. The features of Nero were handsome, but his expression 
was not pleasant. His face wore a sort of scowl, perhaps due to 
his defective sight. His body was ill-made ; he had a prominent 
stomach and thin legs. In his later years his skin was blotched 
from excesses ; but his health was good. As a professional singer, 
he was very careful about his voice. His effeminacy was shown 
in the arrangement of his hair, and in the looseness of the 
cincture which bound his dress when he appeared in public. His 
capricious tyranny recalls, in many respects, the extravagances of 
Gaius. Like Gaius he was " a lover of the incredible." But while 
the mad Gaius had almost a genius for devising absurdities on a 
colossal scale, Nero was merely extravagant on the beaten tracks 
of luxury. He gave immense presents to his favourites, and tried to 
outdo his predecessors in the spaciousness of his buildings. He 
projected a canal from Puteoli to Rome, as well as the cutting of 
the isthmus. He did not aspire to divinity, like Gaius, but rather 
at being pre-eminent among men and receiving their admiration. 
He was vain rather than proud. He adopted superstitions from 
the east, and practised magic. In his later years, the senators seem 
to have kept quite aloof from his court, and he hated them cordially. 
No flattery pleased him more than when a courtier said, " I hate 
you, Nero, because you are a senator." 

Sect. VI. — Nero's Administration. 

§ 25. The peculiarity of Nero's principate was that it was 
marked by good government under a bad Emperor. Nero himself 
was devoid of political insight and spent no care on the adminis- 
tration. Yet in general policy and in the conduct of military 
affairs, there is little to blame, if there is little to praise, in his 
government in the early years of his reign . This was not due to 
the Princeps. It was partly due to well-trained ministers, to 
Seneca and Burrus especially ; but it was also due to the ex- 
cellence of the machine which Caesar the Dictator and Augustus 
had set going. It was perhaps as well that the political views of 
the ministers were strictly limited by the system of Augustus. 
They did not introduce any new idea into the government. It was 
a more serious defect that their activity was mainly confined to 
the interests of the capital. They concerned themselves less 
with the welfare of the provinces. It must be admitted, however, 

54-68 a.d. THE SENATE UNDER NERO. 299 

that they appointed able officers to the commands on the 
fr» n tiers. 

The revival of the power of the senate in Nero's early years has 
been already noticed. In 56 a.d. the management of the serarium 
was transferred from the quaestors to two prefects, of praetorian 
standing, who were to be appointed by the Emperor and hold 
office for three years. This perhaps served to give the Emperor 
more control over the money which the Use advanced to the 
serarium. In the same year the tribunes were deprived of their 
rights of intercession and inflicting fines. It was probably in this 
reign that the independence of the senate was diminished by the 
Emperor's extension of the right of commendation to the consulate, 
which had hitherto been exempted from this influence. But 
the most serious aggression of Nero against the senate, was his 
appropriation of the right of issuing copper coinage, which had 
hitherto been reserved for the senate.* He also ~ entertained the 
idea of abolishing the senatorial privilege of holding the high 
commands in the provinces and armies, in fact of abolishing the 
senate altogether, and carrying on the business of the state by 
means of the knights and freedmen. In the field of civil legis- 
lation several useful measures were passed, among which may be 
mentioned that which forbade the exhibitions of gladiators and 
beasts in the provinces. 

§ 26. In provincial administration the reign of Nero was 
marked by numerous processes for extortion, both in senatorial and 
in imperial provinces, instituted by the subjects against their 
governors. Cestius Proculus, accused by the Cretans, was acquitted. 
P. Celer, proconsul of Asia, died before his case was decided. 
Tarquitius Priscus, accused by Bithynia, was condemned; and 
Pedius Blaasus, accused by Cyrenaica, was degraded from the 
senate. In the imperial provinces, Cossutianus Capito was pro- 
secuted by Cilicia, and condemned, but pardoned by Nero, owing to 
the influence of his father-in-law Tigellinus. Sardinia accused 
Vipsanius Lasnas and obtained his condemnation ; but Eprius 
Marcellus, accused by Lycia, was acquitted. Some of these processes 
came before the senate, others before the Emperor. In 57 a.d. an 
edict was issued, forbidding provincial governors and procurators to 
exhibit spectacles. Many had been in the habit of doing this, in 
order to reconcile the people to their unjust administration. These 
facts prove that the subjects were still exposed to injustice from 
their governors, and also that under Nero they were encouraged to 

A new procuratorial province was created, Pontus Polemoniacus ; 
* See above, $ 12. 

300 THE PRINCIPATE OF NERO. Chap. xvii. 

and Alpes Cottise was placed under procurators. The districts of 
the Cottian and the Maritime Alps had been Romanised since their 
pacification under Augustus, and now received the ius Latinum. 
Possibly the Pennine Alps also became a procuratorial . province 
as early as Nero. The preservation of the Litin nationality 
occupied the serious attention of the government ; new blood was 
imported into Italy from the provinces ; and a considerable number 
of towns were colonised, including Antium, Beneventum, Capua, 
Tarentum, Nuceria, Puteoli. The progress of Roman civilisation 
in Spain is shown by the fact that the three legions placed there by 
Augustus were reduced under Nero to two. It has been already 
mentioned that Nero gave the Greeks their freedom. As this act 
deprived the senate of a province, he made up the loss to the 
a3rarium by transferring to the senate the imperial province of 
Sardinia and Corsica. 

In the middle of Nero's reign an important colonisation took 
place in Mcesia, which was constantly threatened by invasions of 
barbarians from the north, and seems to have suffered from de- 
population. The legatus, Tiberius Plautius Silvanus iElianus, 
settled 100,000 inhabitants of the land beyond the Danube in the 
Mcesian territory. They were obliged to pay a certain tribute and 
also doubtless to perform military service in case of need. He also 
extended the sphere of Roman influence on the north shore of the 
Euxine by annexing to the Empire the town of Tyras. The 
advance of Roman arms in Britain has already been related. The 
war for Armenia and the rebellion in Judea will be described in 
subsequent chapters. 

§ 27. The project of an overland water-route from the Mediter- 
ranean to the North Sea was proposed by Lucius Vetus, the legatus 
of Upper Germany (55-56 a.d.). It was merely required to cut 
a canal connecting the Arar (the Saone), with the Mosella. 
Thus ships might sail up the Rhone, turn into the Arar at 
Lugudunum, reach the Mosella by the projected channel, and 
descend the Mosella into the Rhine. But the jealousy of iElius 
Gracilis, the legatus of Belgica, frustrated the execution of this 
plan, which would have necessitated the bringing of the legions of 
Germany into Belgica. Gracilis frightened Yetus by suggesting 
that the Emperor would be annoyed at the undertaking of such a 
large work by a subject. 

§ 28. In the Lower province some trouble was caused by the 
eastern Frisians, who were independent, whereas the western 
Frisians were tributary. Emboldened by the long peace, they 
migrated with all their people to the bank of the Old Rhine and 
established themselves in unoccupied lands reserved for pasturing 

54-68 a.d. THE FRISIANS. 301 

the beasts which supplied the Roman troops with food. Their 
leaders — we cannot properly speak of kings — were Verritus and 
Malorix. They had built their houses, sowed the fields, and 
were using the soil a* their own, when the legatus Dubius Avitus, 
threatened to attack them unless they either returned to their old 
abodes or obtained from the Emperor a grant of land. Verritus 
and Malorix preferred the second alternative, and went themselves 
to Rome to beg Caesar for the boon. They were obliged to wait 
some days on Nero's pleasure, and spent the time in seeing the 
sights of Rome, They were shown Pompey's theatre, in order that 
they might apprehend the greatness of the people. They took 
their seats among the general public, and as they could not 
appreciate the entertainment, they asked questions about the 
places assigned to the various ranks — the fourteen Benches of the 
knights, and the orchestra where the senators sat. Observing some 
persons in foreign dress among the senators, and learning that they 
were the envoys of nations, who/were distinguished by their bravery 
and friendship to Rome, they exclaimed that the Germans were 
excelled by none in valour or loyalty, and took their seats among 
the senators. The incident was good-naturedly received by the 
spectators, who regarded it as an example of old-fashioned im- 
pulsiveness. The result of the embassy was that the two chieftains 
received Roman citizenship, but their nation was commanded to 
evacuate the territory which they had occupied. They refused to 
obey, and it was necessary for some auxiliary cavalry to drive 
them out. 

But no sooner were the Frisians ejected than the same lands 
were seized by another and more powerful people the Ampsivarii, 
who lived in the neighbourhood of the Amisia, and were driven out 
of their territory by the Chauci. The cause of 'these homeless 
exiles, seeking a new habitation, was pleaded by Boiocalus, an old 
man who was influential among these nations and loyal to Rome. On 
the occasion of the Cheruscan revolt in the disastrous year 9 a.d. 
he had been imprisoned by Arminius, and had since then served 
under Tiberius and Germanicus. But A vitas refused to accede 
to the request, and the Ampsivarians called on the Bructeri, 
Tencteri, and other tribes to help them to take by force what the 
Romans . refused to give. Avitus sent a message* to Curtilius 
Mancia, who had succeeded Yetus as legatus of Upper Germany, 
requesting him to make a hostile demonstration beyond the Rhine ; 
and he himself promptly invaded the land of the Tencteri and 
threatened to exterminate them if they associated themselves with 
the Ampsivarians. The Bructeri were scared in the same way ; and 
the Ampsivarians were then isolated and forced to retreat. 



Chap. xvii. 

Wandering as outcasts from one territory to another, received now 
as friends and now as foes, their entire youth was finally slain, and 
those who could not fight were divided as booty. 

Coin of Poppaea. 



The famous passage in which Tacitus 
notices the persecution of the Christian 
sect at Rome after the great fire (Annals, 
xv. c. 44), is remarkable not only as the 
earliest detailed account of the facts, but 
also incidentally, as containing both the 
earliest record of the Crucifixion in a 
classical author, and the only mention 
of Pontius Pilate in a Roman historian. 
It is perplexed by some difficulties of 
interpretation which have an important 
bearing on the sense, and must be briefly 
noticed, as the question is of unusual 
interest. The words of Tacitus are as 

Ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit 
reos et quaesitissimis pcenis adfecit, quos 
per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos 
appellabat. Auctor nominis eius Christus 
Tiber io imperitante per procuratorem 
Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat ; 
repressaque in pr'acsens exitiabilis super- 
stitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per 
Iudfeam originem eius mali, sed per 
urbem etiam, quo cuncta undique atrocia 
aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque. 
Igitur primum correpti qui fateoantur, 
deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens 
Tlaud proinde in crimine incendii quam 
odio humani gentris convicti sunt. [The 
punishments are then described.] Unde 

quamquam adversus sontes et novissima 
exempla meritos miseratio oriebatur 
tamquam non utilitate publica sed in 
saevitiam unius absumerentur. 

(" So in order to drown the rumour 
Nero shifted the guilt on persons hated 
for their abominations and known to the 
vulgar as Christians, and punished them 
with exquisite tortures. Christus, from 
whom the name originated, had been pun- 
ished under Tiberius by the procurator 
Pontius Pilatus. Checked for the time, 
this pernicious religion broke out again 
not only in Judaga, but in Rome. Those 
then who confessed were first arrested; 
then by their information a large number 
was convicted, not so much on the charge 
of incendiarism, as for hatred of the 
human race." On witnessing Nero's 
brutality, "people were moved by pity 
for the sufferers, though they uere guilty, 
and had deserved extreme penalties ; for 
it was felt that they were suffering to 
gratify Nero's cruelty, not from con- 
siderations of the public welfare.") 

From this passage the following points 
seem •clear : 

(1) For some reason suspicion fell 
upon the Christians ; but Tacitus does 
not assign any more definite reason for 
their being chosen as scapegoats than that 
they were believed to be capable of any 

(2) Tacitus does not himself believe 



that they were guilty of this special 
charge. But he shares the general belief 
in their bad character. 

(3) At the time of which Tacitus 
writes, the name Christian (first given 
at Antioch, as we learn from the Acts of 
the Apostles') had reached Rome and was 
used by the populace of the Christians, 
but not yet by the Christians of them- 

(4) There was a considerable number 
of Christians at Rome. This is implied, 
however much allowance we make for 
the rhetorical phrase of Tacitus, " a 
large multitude." The Christian commu- 
nity at Rome mainly consisted of Greeks. 

(5) Of these only a few were generally 
known as Christians, and the rest could 
only be got at through the information 
of these few. 

The three chief difficulties in the text 
are: (1) Fateoantur. This must mean 
"were openly confessing that they were 
Christians," and not " were confessing 
that they were concerned in the conflagra- 
tion." For they would not have con- 
fessed to the incendiarism unless they 
had a hand in it, and Tacitus implies 
that they were innocent. And when the 
proceedings were taken, they were not 
likely to be openly (Furneaux) confessing 
the crime. (2) Odio humani generis 
depends on in from the preceding clause. 
This was the real charge on which they 
were condemned ; for incendiarism could 
not be brought home to them. Others take 
it " in consequence of the hatred of the 
human race for them ; " but this inter- 
pretation gives inferior sense, and the 
universal phrase humanum genus would 
be out of place, if that were the meaning. 
(3) It has been objected to Tacitus that 
he contradicts himself, by implying at 
the beginning of the passage (subdidit 
reos) that the victims were innocent, and 
then at the end calling them sontes, 
"guilty." This is a misconception. 
Sontes means guilty from the point of 
view of those who pitied them. 

Thus interpreted the whole passage is 
perfectly clear, as far as it goes ; and the 
only difficulty which remains is the ques- 
tion, why Nero pitched upon the Chris- 
tians? This difficulty has appeared so 
great to some historians that they have 
cast doubt upon the whole narrative. It 
has even been held that the passage is 
not the work of Tacitus, but the~ insertion 
of a Christian forger. There is no ground 

whatever for this extravagant supposi- 
tion : nor yet is there any ground for 
assuming that Tacitus confounded the 
Christians with the Jews, or meant not 
Christians but some other sect. That a 
persecution of the Jews was unlikely is 
clear from the protection which Poppaaa 
extended to them ; that there actually 
was no such persecution is proved by the 
silence of Josephus. There is no evidence 
whatever incompatible with the plain 
statements of Tacitus ; and every attempt 
that has hitherto been made to explain 
away the Neronian persecution violates 
the most elementary laws of historical 

The most plausible conjecture as .to 
the singling out of the Christian sect — 
which, as appears even from the language 
of Tacitus, had attracted as yet little 
notice — is that charges were brought 
against them by the Jews (see above, 
$ 14). This view was held by Bishop 
Lightfoot. But it is only a conjecture. 

The tradition of the martyrdom of 
Saints Peter and Paul, under Nero, rests 
on a totally different kind of evidence; 
and the story must be regarded as highly 

As to the question concerning Chris- 
tian proselytes at Rome among the 
higher classes, there is only negative 
evidence. We hear of none such in the 
writings of St. Paul. The case of Pom- 
ponia Graecina is often alleged as an 
instance. This lady was the wife of 
Plautius, the conqueror of Britain. Her 
life was long and unhappy. She had 
been a bosom friend of that Julia 
(the daughter of Drusns) whom Messa- 
lina had put to death, and she mourned 
her loss for forty years. She was accused 
in the reign of Nero, of being devoted to 
a foreign religion, and the decision was 
left to her husband, who pronounced her 
innocent. It is Tacitus who tells the tale 
(Annals, 13. 32), and it has been often 
assumed that the super stitio externa is 
Christianity and that Pomponia was a 
Christian. But this is only an assump- 
tion which cannot be proved; and even 
if it were true, there is the further 
assumption that Pomponia was guilty 
of the crime of which her husband ac- 
quitted her. Tacitus does not suggest 
that she was. Nor does the fact that she 
was a woman of sorrows prove anything. 
She may have been a Christian ; but, as 
far as our evidence goes, it is quite as 



likely that she was not. "We cannot 
possibly know. She may have been 
accused of being a Christian, without 
being one ; but this also we cannot know. 

ISTHMUS (a.d. 67). 

The actual speech in which Nero 
declared Hellas free has been recently 
discovered in the form of an inscription. 

" The Emperor Caesar says : ' Wishing 
to requite most noble Hellas for her 
loyalty towards me, I command that as 
many persons as possible from this pro- 
vince should assemble at Corinth on the 
28th of November.' 

" When the people assembled in Ec- 
clesia he delivered the following address : 
v Men of Hellas, I am giving you an 
unexpected favour — though nothing is 
really surprising from my generosity— 

and such as ye did not come to ask. I 
say unto all the Greeks who dwell in the 
province of Achaia and the land hitherto 
called Peloponnesus: Receive freedom, 
and exemption from tribute, which you 
did not, all of you, obtain even in your 
most prosperous days; for you were 
enslaved either to foreigners or to one 
another. Would that I could have 
bestowed this gift, when Hellas was in 
her prime, in order that a larger number 
might enjoy my favour ! I have reason 
to blame Time for having prevented me 
from making my favour greater. And 
now the motive of my benefit to you is 
not pity, but goodwill. I am requiting 
your gods, whose continual providence I 
have experienced both by land and sea, for 
that they allowed me to confer such great 
benefits. Other pr.nces, too, made cities 
free ; Nero has freed the whole province." 

Aqueduct of Nemausus. 

Coin struck by Nero to commemorate successes of Corbulo. 



1. The Armenian question; retrospect. § 2. Struggle between the 
sons of Artabanus. § 3. Meherdates, the Roman candidate for the 
Parthian throne. § 4. Radamistus drives Mithradates from Armenia. 
§ 5. Action of Julius Pselignus. § 6. Parthians invade Armenia. 
Escape of Radamistus and Zenobia. Tiridates established as king of 
Armenia. § 7. Corbulo sent to the East. He invades and winters in 
Armenia. § 8. Campaign of 58 A.D. § 9. Capture of Volandum 
?nd Artaxata. § 10. Campaign of 59 A.D. Capture of Tigranocerta 
and Legerda. § 11. Tigranes made king of Armenia by Nero. 
Parthians permitted to occupy Armenia again. Behaviour of Corbulo. 
§ 12. War renewed. Disaster of Partus (62 a.d.). § 13. The home 
government rejects the capitulation made by Partus, and Corbulo 
again takes the field. Tiridates receives the crown of Armenia at 
the hands of Nero (66 A.D.). § 14. Projected expedition against the 
Alans. Fate of Corbulo. 

§ 1. The struggle between Rome and Parthia for the possession of 
Armenia, was renewed in the reign of Claudius. This struggle was 
perpetually being decided and perpetually recurring. The Komans 
were determined to keep their hold over a country which was a 
ground of vantage for either realm against the other ; while the 
Parthian monarchs tried, whenever they got an opportunity, to 
supplant Roman influence and reduce the land to dependence on 
themselves. Warlike demonstrations on the part of Rome were 
generally sufficient to make the Parthian kings withdraw their 

306 THE WARS FOR ARMENIA. Chap, xviii. 

pretensions to Armenia and adopt a respectful attitude to the 
Roman Emperor; for they were constantly hampered by wars 
on other frontiers of their dominion and by domestic dissensions. 
These repeated settlements of the Armenian question are marked 
by the same general features. Rival pretenders to the throne of 
Armenia are supported by Rome and Parthia; the Parthian 
kingdom is distracted by civil war or excited into discontent 
against the reigning monarch, and there is a movement in favour 
of some scion of the Arsacid house who is living in exile or as a 
hostage at Rome ; he is supported by Roman arms, but by an 
inevitable reaction is soon rejected; and the war ends with the 
acknowledgment of Roman supremacy in some form in Armenia. 
It will be remembered that Tiberius had established the overlord- 
ship of Rome in 20 B.C., that it was again confirmed by Gaius Caasar 
in 2 a.d. Again, in 18 a.d., the Parthians submitted at the 
appearance of another presumptive heir to the Empire ; and 
recently, the energetic action of Lucius Vitellius had thwarted 
the schemes of Artabanus III. 

§ 2. But what had been well done under the auspices of Tiberius, 
was immediately undone by the caprice of his successor. Gaius 
summoned Mithradates, the new king of Armenia, to Rome, 
deposed him, and sent him into exile. At tbe same time he 
recalled Vitellius in disgrace from his government of Syria. This 
was an opportunity for the Parthians, and they did not fail to seize 
the coveted land. Thus, when Claudius came to the throne, one 
of the tasks which devolved upon him was the recovery of 
Armenia. Mithradates was immediately recalled from exile, and, 
restored to his royal dignity, he set about recovering his kingdom 
with the help of his brother Pharasmanes, king of Iberia. Arta- 
banus III, was now dead, and Parthia was disturbed by a war 
for the succession between his sons Gotarzes and Vardanes. 
Gotarzes had come to the throne and made himself detested by 
his cruelties. One of his acts was the murder of his brother 
Artabanus, with his wife and son. His subjects accordingly 
sent for his other brother Vardanes, an enterprising prince, who was* 
then at a distance of 400 miles from the court. He is said to 
have traversed this space in two days ; and Gotarzes, completely 
surprised and terrified, fled. Seleucia alone, which had ? held out 
against his father, declined the rule of Vardanes, and the new 
king was impolitic enough to give way to his resentment at such 
a moment, and embarrass himself with the siege of a city secured 
by strong fortifications and abundant supplies. He thus gave 
Gotarzes time to collect an army of Hyrcanians and Dahse — Scythian 
races east of the Caspian sea, — and was then compelled to raise the 

43-49 a.d. CIVIL WAR IN PARTHIA. 307 

siege, and march against his brother. He pitched his camp on 
the great Bactrian plain, which stretches between the Oxus and 
the Paropamisus (now the Hindoo Koosh). It was a favourable 
moment for Mithradates to re-establish his rule in Armenia, and 
the Armenians made no resistance when their governor, who had 
ventured on a battle, was slain. Some of the nobles inclined to 
Cotys, king of Little Armenia, but a letter from his overlord 
Claudius prevented that monarch from interfering. Some of the 
fortresses of Armenia received Roman garrisons. Meanwhile the 
armies of the Parthian brothers had met, but just as they were 
about to begin battle, they came suddenly to an agreement, 
through the discovery of a plot which Gotarzes revealed to his 
brother. They joined right hands, and Gotarzes yielded the 
sovranty to his brother, and, to avoid rivalry, retired into the 
wilds of Hyrcania. Vardanes was then able to force Seleucia, 
which had defied the Parthian government for seven years, 
to capitulate (43 a.d.). After this success, he was preparing to 
invade Armenia, but was deterred by the threatening attitude of 
Vibius Marsus the legatus of Syria. 

The strugde with Gotarzes soon broke out anew. That prince 
repented of his renunciation of the crown, and was urged by the 
discontented nobility to take up arms again. The conflict took 
place in the country between the Caspian and Herat; and 
Vardanes gained a great victory, and pushed his successes as 
far as the borders of the Dahse. He returned haughtier 
and more intolerable to his subjects than ever. A plot was con- 
certed, and he was assassinated when he was intent upon the 
chase (45 a.d.). He was still in his first youth; but he would 
deserve, says the historian Tacitus, " to be ranked among the few 
greatest of even long-lived kings, if he had sought to be loved by 
his subjects as he sought to be feared by his enemies." 

§ 3. Gotarzes immediately assumed the sovranty, but after some 
years his cruelty and profligacy drove the Parthians to send 
an embassy to Rome and beg that the prince Meherdates, the 
surviving son of Vonones, whom German icus had put to death in 
Cilicia, should be sent to dispute the Parthian throne with the 
hated Gotarzes (49 a.d.). The ambassadors represented that 
Parthia sent her kings' sons as hostages to Rome, in order that when 
she grew tired of her own government she might fall back on the 
Emperor and the senate, and obtain a better king trained in 
Roman manners. Claudius improved the occasion by emphasising 
the superiority of Rome and the submissiveness of the Parthians. 
He did not lose the opportunity of comparing himself to the divine 
Augustus, from whom the Parthians in like manner had sought a 



Chap, xviii. 

king (Vonones), but he omitted all reference to his uncle Tiberius, 
who had sent two kings to Parthia. He gave good advice to 
Meherdates, who was present, urging him to consider himself as 
a ruler among freemen, not as a despot among slaves ; " the bar- 
barians will like clemency and justice all the more, because they 
are unused to them." Then turning to the ambassadors, he 
dwelled on the virtues of the young foster-child of Rome. Yet, 
even if his character should change, " it is well that subjects should 
bear with the caprices of kings. Frequent revolutions are un- 
profitable. Rome has now reached such a height, that she can 
afford to wish that even foreign peoples should enjoy repose." 

As L. Yitellius had formerly conducted Tiridates to the frontiers 
of the Parthian empire, so it devolved now upon 0. Cassius, 
governor of Syria, to escort Meherdates to the Euphrates. There 
he was received by several Parthian potentates, including king 
Abgar of Osroene. Cassius gave the young prince sound advice, 
showing him that delay would, be fatal, and that if he did not act 
quickly the enthusiasm of the barbarians would soon flag. But 
Meherdates was induced by Abgar to amuse himself for several days 
in Edessa, and then, instead of occupying Mesopotamia, where success 
seems to have been assured to him by Carenes, the governor of 
Mesopotamia, he proceeded by a circuitous route to Armenia, where, 
as winter was beginning, it was impossible to do much. He was 
joined by Carenes, and then advancing along the Tigris into 
Adiabene, whose king Izates pretended to espouse his cause, 
he occupied the historic site of Ninus, and gave it the' name 
of Colonia Nini Claudia. Delay was fatal to M< herdates, 
even as it had been fatal to Tiridates, the pretender sent by 
Tiberius. His chief adherents, recognising his incompetence, 
especially Abgar and Izates, deserted to Gotarzes, and then he 
decided to risk everything on a battle. The struggle seems to 
have taken place between the Tigris and Mount Zagros. Both sides 
fought with desperate courage. Carenes carried all hefore him, 
but, advancing too far, was surprised in the rear. This decided the. 
issue. Meherdates yielded to false promises, and was led in 
chains to the victor, who despised him too much to put him 
to death, but rendered him harmless by the amputation of his 

§ 4. But Gotarzes did not long survive his victory.* He was 
succeeded (in summer 51 a.d:) by Vonones IL, king of Media, who 
was followed, after a reign of a few months, by his sonYologeses I., 

* It is supposed that this victory is 
commemorated in an inscription carved 
on the rock of Behistun. But it is hard 

to see why Gotarzes should be called) 
"satrap of satraps" at this time. Waa 
he not " king of kings " 2 


a capable and successful ruler (51-78 a.d.). One of the chief 
ends of the policy of Vologeses was to recover Armenia, and an 
opportunity was soon offered through an act of foul treachery on 
the part of the Iberian king. Pharasmanes had a son named 
Radamistus, tall, handsome, of remarkable bodily strength, trained 
in archery and riding, and the other accomplishments of his 
countrymen, and of high renown among the neighbouring peoples. 
This ambitious youth declared too boldly his impatience of his 
father's long old age, which kept him out of the little kingdom, 
which he perhaps hoped to extend. Pharasmanes, seeing that Lis son 
was prepared to grasp the power, if an occasion offered itself, tempted 
the youth with other prospects, and pointed to Armenia, suggesting 
that his brother Mithradates might be overthrown. A treacherous 
scheme was devised. Radamistus, feigning to have quarrelled with 
his father, sought shelter at his uncle's court, and there engaged 
in treasonable intrigues with some of the Armenian nobles. When 
the ground was prepared, Pharasmanes declared war against his 
brother on some trifling plea, and supplied his son with an army, 
with which he invaded and occupied Armenia (52 a.d.). Mithra- 
dates placed himself under the protection of the Roman garrison 
of the fortress of Grorneas, which was commanded by Ca3lius Pollio.* 
Radamistus blockaded the place, and, unable to take it, attempted 
to bribe Pollio. But Casperius, a centurion, who held a secondary 
command, protested, and, having arranged a truce, proceeded to 
Pharasmanes, to induce him to withdraw the army. Pharasmanes 
replied in a conciliatory manner, but by secret messages urged 
Radamistus to hurry on the siege. A large bribe was offered to 
Pollio, who seems to have been a man of bad character ; he bribed 
the soldiers to threaten to abandon the place unless terms were 
made with the besiegers; and the unfortunate Mithradates was 
compelled to surrender. 

Radamistus at first rushed into his embrace, greeted him as his 
parent, and feigned the deepest respect. He even swore an oath 
that he would offer him no violence either by sword or by poison. 
He then drew him into a neighbouring grove, where he said that 
preparations had been made for the sacrifice which should confirm 
peace in the presence of the gods. It was the custom of these princes 
when they met to form an alliance, to join their right hands and 
tie together their thumbs in a tight knot. Then when the blood was 
collected into the extremities which were thus tied, they let it out 
by a small puncture, and sucked it each in turn. The treaty had 
thus a mystical sanctity, being sealed by the blood of both. On 
this occasion, the man who was tying the knot pretended to fall, 
* Holding the rank probably of prefect of a cohort. 

310 THE WARS FOR ARMENIA. Chap, xviii. 

and seizing the knees of Mithradates flung him down. A number 
of people then rushed upon him, and loaded him with chains. He 
was dragged along, subject to all kinds of indignities, while his wife 
and little children followed wailing. Thej^ were hidden in covered 
waggons, until the will of Pharasmanes as to their fate should 
be made known. " To him the desire of kingdom was more than 
his brother and bis daughter, and his heart was steeled to crimes. 
But he spared his eyes the sight of a brother's execution. 
Radamistus, to keep the letter of his oath, used neither steel nor 
poison against his uncle and his sister, but had them thrown on 
the ground and smothered under a load of heavy clothes. Even 
the sons of Mithradates were slaughtered for having wept at the 
murder of their father and mother." * 

§ 5. Ummidius Quadratus, the legatus of Syria, on whom it 
devolved to watch the course of events in the neighbouring depen- 
dent kingdoms, decided not to interfere. He or his councillors 
judged it to be a matter of indifference whether Armenia was ruled 
by the uncle or by the nephew ; and the principle was asserted that 
all crime in a foreign land was to be received with joy. It was 
the policy of Rome to sow strife among the barbarians ; and it was 
rather for her interest that the hated Radamistus should retain 
what he had got by such an infamous deed, inasmuch as he would 
be more easily managed. At the same time appearances were kept 
up by sending an embassy to Pharasmanes, bidding him and his 
son evacuate Armenia. A show of interference was also made by 
Julius Paslignus, the procurator of Cappadocia, a man of deformed 
body and feeble intellect, who had been a sort of buffoon at the 
court of Claudius. There were no military forces stationed in 
Cappadocia at this time, but Paelignus collected some native militia, 
and set forth " to recover Armenia." His men deserted their 
incompetent leader, and he, finding himself defenceless, went to 
Radamistus, whose gifts had such an effect that Paelignus actually 
urged him to assume the tiara and diadem ofjfoyalty, and took part in 
the coronation of the usurper whom he had come to expel. This 
disgraceful act caused great scandal, and lest other Romans should 
be judged by the behaviour of Paelignus, Quadratus sent a certain 
Helvidius Priscus, with one of the Syrian legions, to restore order ; 
but this force was speedily withdrawn, in order to avoid a collision 
with the Parthians. 

§ 6. For in the meantime Vologeses, judging the moment to be 
favourable, and supposing that the Romans would not trouble 
themselves to support Radamistus, had named his brother Tiridates 
king of Armenia, and had entered the country with an army 

* Tacitus. 

53, 54 a.d. FLIGHT OF RADAMISTUS. 311 

(53 a.d.). The Iberians were expelled without a blow, and the 
two chief cities. Artaxata and Tigranocerta, submitted to the 
Parthian yoke. A severe winter, want of provisions, and the 
breaking out of a disease in his army, compelled Vologeses to 
retire ; and Radamistus speedily returned, and dealt out vengeance 
to those who bad deserted him. But his subjects rebelled against 
his cruelty, and an armed crowd gathered round his palace in 
Artaxata. He and his wife Zenobia were obliged to flee, and the 
story of their escape is romantic. Their chance of safety lay in the 
swiftness of their horses, but Zenobia was pregnant, and, though she 
endured somehow or other the first part of the flight, she was after a 
while so shaken by the continuous galloping, that she could hold out 
no longer, and dismounting she begged her husband to rescue her 
from the insults of captivity by an honourable death. Radamistus 
was at length induced to comply with her request. Unsheathing 
his short sabre (the acinaces), he stabbed her, and, dragging her 
to the bank of the Araxes, committed her to the stream, that even 
her dead body might be rescued from the enemy. He then 
continued his headlong flight, and reached Iberia in safety. But 
Zenobia was not mortally wounded. She lay in the calm water 
near the edge of the river, breathing and showing signs of life. 
Some shepherds observed her, and, seeing from her appearance that 
she was a woman of high degree, bound up her wound, and applied 
rustic remedies. Having discovered her name and story, they took 
her to Artaxata, whence she was led to Tiridates, now established 
as king of Armenia, who received her kindly, and treated her as a. 
queen (54 a.d.). 

Some desultory warfare was kept up between Tiridates and 
Radamistus, during the last year of Claudius (54 a.d.). The 
Parthians were at this time trammelled by revolts in the north of 
their empire, and the Romans were busied with the suppression of 
a rising of the Clitse in Cilicia, and with troubles in Judea. The 
Armenians, disgusted at the countenance which the Romans had 
given to the usurpation of Radamistus, were by no means dissatisfied 
at the establishment of a Parthian prince in their country. 

§ 7. The success of Tiridates seemed to be one more proof that 
the policy of Augustus was not likely to lead to a stable settle- 
ment of the eastern question. The death of Claudius and the 
accession of Nero was a good opportunity for trying a new policy. 
The government of Nero, conducted by Seneca and Burrus, 
decided to take active measures for the recovery of Armenia and 
the maintenance of Rome's prestige, which had been dimmed by 
the recent triumph of Vologeses and his brother. The first step 
was the appointment of Gnseus Domrtius Corbulo to the government 

312 THE WARS FOR ARMENIA. Chap, xviii. 

of Cappadocia, with the rank of a consular legatus, although that 
province had b en hitherto under a procurator. He was consul in 
39 a.d. We have already met him as legatus of Lower Germany 
(47 a.d ), where he gained a high reputation for discipline and 
ability. Quadratus was allowed to keep his post in Syria, but was 
ordered to place two of his four legions at the disposal of the 
new legatus of Cappadocia. Antiochus ot Commagene and Herod 
Agrippa II. of Chalcis, (see below, p. 367) received commands to 
have their troops in readiness for operations against the Parthians. 
Lesser Armenia and Sophene, the countries which bordered Armenia 
on the west, were entrusted to two Syrian princes, Aristobulus and 
Sohsemus respectively. But' the legions had become demoralised by a 
long peace, and they liked little to change their quarters in Syria 
for the mountains of Armenia. There were veterans in the army 
who had never served on sentinel duty, to whom the rampart and 
the ditch were novelties, men without helmets or breastplates, 
sleek traders who had served all their time in towns. The first 
thing that Corbulo had to do was to dismiss a large number of 
incapable men, and levy new recruits. Even after the restoration 
of discipline he was obliged to ask for additional troops from the 
more efficient armies of the west. A legion and auxiliaries were 
sent from Germany. But Rome did not immediately come to 
blows with Parthia. Instead of invading Armenia^ Corbulo entered 
into negotiations with Vologeses, and a treaty was concluded. The 
Parthians undertook to give hostages as a pledge of peace, while 
the Romans suffered the rule of Tiridates in Armenia. Perhaps 
this was only for the purpose of gaining time. But it may be that 
the Roman government had come to see the uselessness of con- 
tinually setting up kings of their own' choice in Armenia, destined 
to be overthrown in a few years by Parthian rivals. So as they 
were not prepared to annex that country as a province, they 
dtcided to adopt the policy of recognizing the Parthian candidate, 
on the understanding that he held his dependency under the over- 
lordship of the Roman Emperor, not of the Parthian monarch. But 
as time went on and Tiridates still demurred to receive Armenia as 
a Roman gift, and take an oath of allegiance to the Emperor, 
Corbulo set out in 57 a.d., two years after his appointment, with an 
army of about 30,000 men, and wintered in Armenia. 

The rigour of Armenian winters was proverbial,* and the army 
seems to have suffered severely. The ground covered with ice 
yielded no place for the tents, until it was regularly dug up. The 
cold was so intense that many of the men had their limbs frost- 

* Horace, Odes, ii. 9. 4: 

Nee Arnieniis in oris 

. . . stet glacies iners 
Menses per onmes. 

58 a.d. Campaign of cokbulo. 313 

bitten ; others perished on guard. A soldier carrying a bundle of 
wood was observed, whose hands dropped off and fell with the 
burden. Corbulo was glad to give his demoralised soldiers the 
experience of hardships. He is described as going about among his 
men, lightly clad, with uncovered head, praising the brave, en- 
couraging the weak, enforcing strict discipline. Deserters were 
put to death for the first offence. 

§ 8. It was probably in the table-land of Erzeroum that the 
warfare of the year 58 a.d. was carried on. The campaign began 
by a slight reverse for the Eomans. Corbulo had posted some 
auxiliary infantry in certain defensive positions under the command 
o'" a centurion, to whom he hacl given strict orders to keep within 
the entrenchments. But this officer seeing what he thought a 
favourable opportunity, disobeyed and was defeated. The general 
punished both officers and soldiers by making them encamp outside 
the rampart, and they were only released from this disgrace when 
the whole army interceded. When spring was well advanced, 
Corbulo did all in his power to force into an engagement Tiridates, 
who was scouring the country and plundering all whom he thought 
friendly to Kome. Weary of following the enemy hither and 
thither, Corbulo divided his forces, so that his legaii and prefects 
might attack several points at the same time. His operations were 
supported by Antiochus, king of Commagene, advancing from the 
south, and Pharasmanes of Iberia — who desired to redeem his former 
treachery and had already put to death his son Badamistus — from 
the north. A people called the Moschi, who dwelled near the 
sources of the river Phasis, also assisted Borne. Vologese^s was 
occupied in another quarter of his kingdom by a revolt of the 
Hyrcanians, and Tiridates found himself unable to cope with the 
superior forces of the Bomans. He therefore entered into negotia- 
tions with Corbulo, who advised him to send a petition to the 
Emperor. As it was found that the interchange of messages did 
not lead to a settlement, an interview was arranged between the 
commanders. Tiridates proposed to arrive himself wi'h a thousand 
horsemen, and that Corbulo should be accompanied by as many 
soldiers as he chose, provided they came " without helmets and 
breastplates, so as to give the appearance of peace." The wary old 
general was not deceived by this offer, so transparently treacherous. 
Tiridates intended that his trained archers should shoot down the 
escort of Corbulo, whose numbers would be of no avail if their 
bodies were undefended. Corbulo, however, pretended not to see 
through the stratagem, but replied that it would be better to 
discuss the matters in dispute in the presence of the whole armies. 
On the appointed day he arrived first, and disposed his troops, but 

314 THE WABS FOR ARMENIA. Chap, xviii. 

Tiridates did not appear till the afternoon, and then stood at a 
distance " whence he could be seen rather than heard." Thus 
no conference took place, and Tiridates presently marched off, 
apparently in a north-westerly direction, perhaps intending to cut 
off the supplies which the Roman army drew from Trapezus. 

§ 9. Corbulo now ceased to follow Tiridates, and prepared a series 
of attacks on the Armenian fortresses. He undertook himself the 
assault on Yolandum the strongest in the district, and assigned the 
lesser forts to the subordinate officers. Yolandum lay west of 
Artaxata and south of the river A raxes. Corbulo formed his troops 
in four divisions and assigned to each a different task. One part, 
with their shields locked above their heads, in the array known as 
testudo, advanced close to the rampart to undermine it ; others 
applied scaling-ladders to the walls; others hurled javelins and 
brands from the engines ; while the slingers at a distance discharged 
leaden balls against the garrison. Within the third part of a day, 
the walls were stripped of their defenders, the barricades of the gate 
were thrown down, the fortifications scaled and captured, all 
the adults butchered, without the loss of a single Roman soldier. 
Corbulo' s officers were equally successful in their less difficult enter- 
prises, and he was encouraged by this success to attack Artaxata, 
the capital of the country. On the march thither the Romans were 
attacked by the cavalry of Tiridates, who had hoped to take them 
unawares. But Corbulo had formed his army for fighting as well 
as for marching. On the right and left sides the Illrd and Vlth 
legions marched respectively, and a chosen body of the Xth was 
placed in the centre.* The baggage was secured within the lines 
and the rear was guarded by a thousand cavalry, who were ordered 
to resist if attacked, but not to pursue. On the wings were placed 
the foot bowmen and the rest of the cavalry. The left wing was 
extended further along the foot of the hills, so that if the enemy 
broke through the centre, his flank might be enveloped by the 
extended wing. Tiridates rode up in the face of the advancing 
army, but taking care to keep out of the range of missiles. His 
object was to loosen the ranks, by threatening an attack, and then 
to fall on the separated divisions. But his design failed. Only one 
cavalry officer advanced rashly, and fell pierced with arrows. His 
example confirmed the others in obedience to orders, and Tiridates 
retired on the approach of night. Corbulo thought of advancing on 
Artaxata the same night, and beginning the blockade ; but when 
his scouts reported that Tiridates had started on a distant march — 

* III. and VI. were the Syrian legions f also sent; but the main body was left in 
sent to Corbulo by Quadratus. Picked Syria, 
men of X., another Syrian legion, were [ 


either to Media or Albania — he waited for daylight, and then sent 
on his light-armed troops with directions to begin the attack at 
a distance. But no siege was necessary. The inhabitants im- 
mediately opened the gates and surrendered, and thereby saved 
their lives. The city was burnt to the ground, as Corbulo could 
not spare a sufficient garrison, and the place was too strong to be 
left unoccupied. 

§ 10. The army seems to have wintered in the neighbourhood 
of Artaxata, and in the following year (59 a.d.) to have marched 
to Tigranocerta, which they reached in autumn. The line of 
march which Corbulo followed is not certain. It seems probable 
that he proceeded southward from Artaxata, and skirting the foot 
of Little Ararat entered the plain of Bayazid ; whence, following 
the basin of the river Balyk he could have crossed the watershed 
of that stream and the Murad at Djadin, and thence marched 
along the Murad through the plain of Arishgerd. The way would 
then lie through the plain of Mush, and south-eastward across the 
Bit lis pass and Tigranocerta.* On this march the Koman general 
made no hostile demonstrations, but did not relax his vigilance, 
knowing the character of the Armenians, who were " as treacherous 
when opportunity offered, as they were slow to face danger." 
Those who submitted, received quarter ; but to those who fled, or 
hid themselves in caverns, Corbulo was pitiless. He burnt them 
out of their holes, filling the entrances and egresses with brushwood. 
The Mardi of Mount Niphates were especially troublesome, and 
defied him in their mountain fastnesses. Corbulo set the Iberians 
on them, so as to avoid the sacrifice of Eoman lives. In this 
march the Komans suffered as much from heat as they had 
suffered during the winters from cold. They were exhausted by 
shortness of supplies, and were compelled to depend solely on the 
cattle of the country. This meat diet, without any other food, 
was found to be very injurious. Besides this, water was scarce, 
and the marches in the burning heat were long. At length they 
reached cultivated lands, perhaps in the neighbourhood of Melaz- 
gerd, and were able to obtain vegetable food. Two Armenian 
fortresses were taken, and then they crossed into the country ol 
the Tauronites, which is probably to be identified with the district 
of Mush, west of Lake Van. Here Corbulo's life was endangered. 
A barbarian of considerable rank was discovered with a dagger 
near the general's tent, and, on being tortured, confessed the names 
of confederates who were associated with him. The men were 
convicted and punished. Soon after this, envoys whom Corbulo 
had sent # to Tigranocerta returned and reported that the gates were 
* Furneaux, Tacitus, ii. 114. 

316 THE WARS FOE ARMENIA Chap, xviii. 

open to receive him, and the inhabitants ready to obey his orders. 
They also brought a golden crown, a gift betokening the friendship 
of the city. Corbulo left the place intact, and then proceeded 
against Legerda, a fortress to the west of Tigranocerta. The 
stronghold was defended by a brave band, and was stormed 
with difficulty. This success seems to have marked, the end of, 
the campaign. 

§ 11. Tiridates made some further attempts to re-establish himself 
in Armenia, but was promptly checked by Corbulo. The land 
was completely in Roman power, and a new king was chosen 
(60 a.d.). The choice of the government fell on Tigranes, a young 
prince who had been brought up in Rome, descended on the 
father's side from Herod the Great, and on the mother's from 
Archelaus of Cappadocia. But the realm which Nero conferred on 
Tigranes was considerably less than that which the previous kings 
had ruled. It was curtailed by some frontier districts, which were 
distributed between neighbouring princes — Pharasmanes, Antiochus, 
Aristobulus, and Polemo of Pontus. 

Tigranes sought to increase his kingdom on another side, by 
wresting Adiabene from Parthia. He invaded that province and 
defeated the governor Monobazus. This occurrence forced the 
Parthian monarch, who had abstained from interfering in the 
recent war in Armenia, to take a decisive step. He confirmed the 
sovranty of Tiridates in Armenia, placing the diadem on his head 
in solemn council ; and sent his general Monasses to drive out the 
Roman usurper. In the meantime Quadratus, the governor of 
Syria, had died, and, pending the appointment of a successor, the 
command both in Syria and Cappadocia, devolved upon Corbulo. 
That general sent two legions to Armenia to support Tigranes, who 
was besieged by the Parthians in Tigranocerta. But it was not 
the interest of Corbulo to finish the war and shorten his own 
command. The two legions which he sent were not those which 
had been trained by himself, but IV. and XII., which had 
remained behind in Syria, and were quite inefficient. More- 
over, he is said to have given secret instructions to the two 
commanders, to whom he committed the charge of the legions, " to 
act with deliberation rather than with expedition, for he would 
rather have war on hand than prosecute it." He himself prepared to 
cross the Euphrates, and meet Vologeses. But the Parthian monarch, 
again, as so often before, shrank from war at the last moment. 
The attack of his general upon Tigranocerta had been completely 
unsuccessful. He opened negotiations, and declared himself ready 
to fulfil the conditions of the treaty which had been proposed 
in 55 a.d., and let his brother hold Armenia as vassal of the 


Roman Emperor. Corbulo accepted the proposal, withdrew his 
legions from Armenia, gave up the cause of Tigranes (61 a.d.), 
and permitted Tiridates to resume his possession of the land. It 
was said, by some, and it is not improbable, that there was a secret 
understanding between Corbulo and Vologeses. In any case these 
proceedings of Corbulo cannot be justified. He may have honestly 
thought that the arrangement which he twice attempted to make 
with Yologeses was the best solution of the Armenian question ; 
but, once the Roman government had set up Tigranes, he had no 
right to give up the results which had been won by his own 
campaigns. Moreover he was at this time only a temporary 
commander, and Lucius Cassennius Paatus was already on his way 
to assume the government of Cappadocia, to which he had been 
appointed. It is possible that Corbulo was jealous of his successor, 
and wished to deprive him of the honour of the final subjugation 
of Armenia. In any case Corbulo did not act in accordance with 
the views of the government, and when the ambassadors of 
Vologeses presented themselves at Rome, the treaty was not 
confirmed. There is some ground for believing that at this 
moment it was actually contemplated to make Armenia a Roman 
province, and this certainly was the view of the new governor of 

§ 12. Thus Armenia had to be conquered again. The two 
legions * which were stationed in Cappadocia were to be reinforced 
by a legion from Moesia,t and Psetus, as soon as he arrived in his 
province, lost no time in setting out. He crossed the Euphrates 
at Melitene, and marched through Sophene, capturing forts and 
1 ooty on his way. His first object was the recovery of Tigrano- 
certa, but it was late in the year (62 a.d.), and he was obliged to 
»iefer this enterprise until next season, especially as the Moesian 
legion had not yet arrived. He established the winter-quarters 
of the IV th legion at Kandeia, a place on the borders of 
Sophene, close to the Taurus range, and situated on the north bank 
of the Arsanias (Murad). In the meantime, Corbulo had taken up a 
position on the banks of the Euphrates, near Zeugma, to prevent 
the forces of Vologeses from invading Syria. The Parthian king, 
learning that the two legions of Paatus were not together, that the 
camp at Randeia w r as badly supplied with provisions, and that 
Psetus was granting furloughs indiscriminately to all the soldiers 
who applied for them, suddenly determined to invade Armenia, 
notwithstanding the lateness of the season, and surprise the Roman 
camp before reinforcements could arrive. Corbulo did nothing to 

* XII. (Fulminata), one of the two had originally come from Mcesia. 
Syrian legions ; and IV. CScythica), which | f V. CMacedonica). 

318 THE WARS FOR ARMENIA. Char xviii. 

hinder the march of the Parthians into Armenia ; perhaps he was 
secretly pleased at the prospect of the other commander getting 
into difficulties. When Paetus heard that Yologeses was ap- 
proaching with a large force, he summoned the Xllth legion 
to his head-quarters, and then fully realised the numerical weak- 
ness of his forces. The whole army advanced in the direction 
from which the Parthians were approaching, but when a centurion 
and some soldiers, who had been sent on to reconnoitre, were killed 
in a collision with an advanced party of the enemy, it retreated 
to the camp. Vologeses did not press on immediately, and Psetus 
posted a body of 3000 chosen infantry in the pass of Mount 
Taurus, which the Parthians had yet to pass before they reached 
Randeia, and also placed the best of his cavalry in the plain to 
support the legionaries. But these forces were utterly insufficient, 
and were swept away before the advance of the Parthian army. 
The un wounded fled to distant wilds ; the disabled returned to the 
camp. Thus Paatus was left, having lost the best part of his army 
through his ill-considered dispositions ; and his forces were still 
further weakened by the withdrawal of a cohort to the defence of 
the neighbouring fort of Arsamosata, whither his wife and son had 
been removed for safety. His only chance of escape lay in speedy 
succour from Corbulo, to whom he had already sent a pressing 
message. But Corbulo did not hurry ; he was willing to let the 
peril increase, in order that the glory of rescuing the army might 
be enhanced. But he ordered 1000 men from each of his three 
legions,* along with 800 cavalry and about 4000 auxiliary infantry, 
to be in instant readiness to march. When, however, another 
message arrived from Psetus, with news of the defeat, and earnestly 
entreating him to come to save the eagles, he set out, leaving 
half his army to defend the forts on the Euphrates. He marched 
straight north from Zeugma, through Commagene and Cappadocia — 
the route which was shortest and most convenient for obtaining 
supplies. His army was attended by a large number of camels 
laden with corn. When he met stragglers from the defeated army, 
and they alleged various excuses for their flight, he advised them 
to return to their standards, and throw themselves on the mercy of 
Paatus. " I," he said, " have no pardon but for the victorious." 

In the meantime Yologeses pressed both the fortress of Arsamosata 
and the camp at Randeia. He tried to lure the legions from their 
entrenchments, and bring on an engagement. But the Roman 
soldiers were demoralised, and had no intention of fighting ; they 
only thought of escaping with their lives. They are said to have 
quoted the historical disasters of Rome, such as the Caudine Forks 
* III. (Gallica), VI. (Ferrata), andX. (FretensisY 


and the capitulation of Mancinus at Numantia ; and urged that if 
Romans had yielded to Samnites, it would be no disgrace to capitu- 
late to the greater power of Parthia. The general was forced by this 
attitude of his troops into treating with the enemy. Yet if he had 
held out for three days longer his colleague would have arrived 
with succour. The terms of the capitulation were that the legions 
should quit Armenia, that the forts and supplies should be 
surrendered to the Parthian s, and a bridge thrown across the 
river Arsanias to enable them to carry off the booty. The 
Romans had to submit to much ignominy. The Parthians and 
Armenians insulted them as they prepared to retire, and their 
flight was precipitate. Psetus traversed forty miles in a single day, 
leaving his wounded all along the route. The fugitives met the 
army of Coibulo on the banks of the Euphrates, near Melitene. 
" Corbulo made no exhibition of standards and arms, so as to taunt 
them by the contrast. His maniples, in their grief for the lot of 
their comrades, con Id not even refrain from tears ; the mutual 
salutation was hardly interchanged for weeping. Rivalry and 
desire of glory, emotions which men feel in success, had died away ; 
pity alone prevailed, and was more deeply felt in the lower 
ranks/ * 

A short conversation took place between Corbulo and Psetus. 
The defeated general urged that everything might still be retrieved 
if the whole army were at once to invade Armenia, from which 
Vologeses had already departed. Corbulo declined, on the ground 
that his commission from the Emperor strictly confined him to the 
limits of Syria, which he had only left on account of the peril of 
the legions. Psetus then retired to Cappadocia, and Corbulo to 
Syria, where messages passed between him and Yologeses, and it 
was. agreed that the Roman fortresses on the Parthian bank of the 
Euphrates were to be abandoned, while on the other hand the 
Parthian garrisons w r ere to be removed from Armenia. 

§ 13. When Psetus first established his quarters at Randeia, he 
had sent bragging dispatches to Rome, as if he were in possession 
of the whole country; and trophies and arches were erected at 
Rome in honour of his supposed successes. The arrival of the 
envoys of Yologeses early in 63 a.d. exposed the falseness of these 
pretensions. The letter of the king was moderate, but its tone was 
that of one who need not condescend to ask for terms. He pro- 
fessed that his brother Tiridates was ready to receive the crown of 
Armenia as a Roman vassal. Being a Magi an priest, Tiridates had 
a scruple against crossing the sea ; otherwise he would have been 
ready to appear at Rome and receive the diadem from the 

* Tacitus, Ann., xv. 16, 

320 THE WARS FOR ARMENIA. Chap, xviii. 

Emperor's hand. But he would willingly go to one of the neigh- 
bouring camps, and do homage to the standards and the image of 
the Emperor. The council of Nero rejected this proposal, and sent 
the envoys back without a formal answer, refusing to accept the 
terms which were arranged between Corbulo and Yologeses. But 
they seem to have intimated at the same time that if Tiridates pre- 
sented himself at Rome in person, an understanding might be effected. 
But for the present the war was to continue, and preparations were 
made for it on an unusually large scale. 

Paetus was recalled; and Corbulo, who, though his recent 
behaviour was certainly open to criticism, was justly recognised to 
be the most capable general, undertook once more the command in 
Cappadocia, while C. Cestius Gallus replaced him in Syria. He 
was now entrusted with larger powers than before — perhaps with 
an imperium proconsulare. All the governors and dependent 
princes of the East were instructed to obey his commands, and his 
position resembled that which had been formerly held by Ger- 
manicus and Vitellius. The army was increased by the XV th 
legion (Apollinaris) taken from Panuonia. The whole strength of 
Corbulo's army, taking into account the troops supplied by neigh- 
bouring allied princes, probably approached 50,000, and was the 
most numerous force ever put in the field for an Armenian war. 
Corbulo crossed the Euphrates, and entered southern Armenia, 
advancing in the direction of Tigranocerta, and opening up the route 
which in former days had been followed by Lucullus when he 
advanced to overthrow Tigranes. He drove from their possessions 
those Armenian nobles who had led the revolt against Rome, and 
captured their fortresses. Then Yologeses sent envoys to demand an 
armistice, and Tiridates proposed a personal interview with the 
Roman general. Corbulo acceded, and made no objection when 
Tiridates proposed that the place of meeting should be at Randeia, 
the scene of the disaster of Partus. He commanded the son of 
Paetus, who was a military tribune in his army, to take some troops 
with him, and cover up the relics of the battlefield. Tiridates and 
Corbulo, each attended by twenty horsemen, met on the appointed 
day. It was agreed that the Parthian should take the diadem 
from his head, place it in front of the Emperor's image, and not re- 
sume it until he had formally received it in Rome from the Emperor's 
own hand. This ceremony was to take place in the presence of 
both armies and on the very spot where Psetus had capitulated, so 
that the memory of the disgrace which had then tarnished Roman 
arms might in some measure be effaced. The interview ended 
with a kiss. After a few days, the solemnity took place. On one 
side was ranged the Parthian cavalry with their national decora- 


tions ; on the other, the legions with glittering eagles, and 
standards, and images of the gods, set so as to represent a temple. 
Between the armies was a tribunal supporting a chair of state, on 
which a statue of Nero was placed. Tiridates advanced, and, 
having slain the customary victims, removed the diadem from his 
head and placed it at the foot of the statue. Then Corbulo 
courteously entertained the king, who prepared to set out for Rome, 
as soon as he had visited his brothers. This time, Corbulo's 
favourite scheme succeeded. New statesmen were influential at 
Rome, and the vanity of the Emperor was gratified by the prospect 
of giving away the crown of Armenia to a Parthian prince as a 
humble suppliant. Tiridates, accompanied by 3000 Parthian 
horsemen, arrived in Rome in 66 a.d. The ceremony of investiture 
took place in the Forum, where the brother of Yologeses, kneeling 
at the feet of his overlord, received the crown of Armenia. This 
settlement of the eastern question lasted for many years. Rome 
had succeeded in getting rid of a troublesome dependency without 
losing her prestige or endangering her interests. 

§ 14. One more eastern expedition was planned by Nero, but its 
execution was prevented by his overthrow. It was directed 
against the Alans, a people who lived north of the Caucasus, and ~ 
had recently made some plundering excursions in Armenia and 
Media. The object was probably to occupy the " Caucasian Gate," 
now known as the Dariel Pass, between Tiflis and Vladikaukas, 
with a permanent garrison; and this was for the advantage of 
Parthia as well as for that of Rome. The XIV th legion, which 
was recalled from Britain, and the I. Italica, newly enrolled for 
this expedition, were. on the way to the east, when they were 
recalled on account of the revolt of Vindex. 

It remains to tell the fate of Corbulo. His prominent position 
and services seem to have roused the jealousy of Nero, who 
summoned him to his presence in Greece (67 a.d.). When Corbulo 
landed at Cenchreaa, he received a message to the effect that he 
was expected to cease to live. He plunged his sword in his breast, 
with the words, " I deserve it ! " It is impossible to know whether 
he had given any real ground of suspicion. He was an able 
soldier, but his merits, perhaps, have been exaggerated. Tacitus, at 
least, seems to use the meritorious Corbulo as a sort of antithesis to 
Nero, just as he set up Germanicus as a foil to Tiberius ; and the 
contrast drawn between Corbulo's unerring generalship and the 
rash incompetence of Pastus is obviously heightened for the sake of 
artistic effect. 





According to the view of Rawlinson 
and Egli, Artabanus III. died in 42 a.d. ; 
others placed his d^ath in 43 a.d. (so 
Saint-Martin) ; but it may now be re- 
garded as certain (with Mr. Percy Gard- 
ner and Gutschmid) that the true date is 
40 a.d. It is further probable that after 
the death of Artabanus, Gotarzes, his son, 
reigned for a short time before Vardanes 
(40-41 a.d.); and that Vardanes died in 
45 a.d. (whereas his death is generally 
placed in 48 a.d.). For these dat^s the 
Parthian coins are our chief source. 
There is no evidence to support the sup- 
position of Mommsen, that the immediate 
successor of Artabanus was the son of 
the same name mentioned by Tacitus. 
The surrender of Seleucia is usually 
placed in the year 46 a.d., but this can- 
not be right if Vardanes' death is to be 
placed in 45 a.d. 

Tacitus states that the rebellion of 
Seleucia lasted seven years. Nipperdey's 
view (approved by Furneaux) that the 
revolt began in 36 a.d., and the capitula- 
tion took place in 43 a.d., is probably 

With the sending of Meherdates to the 
East in 49 a.d. we reach firm ground for 
a moment. It seems clear that Meher 
dates advanced into Adiabene in spring 

50 a.d., that his defeat took place in the 
same year, and that Gotarzes died in 

51 a.d. (But Egli holds that all these 
events took place in 49 a.d.) The date 
of the accession of Vologeses is variously 
placed in 51 a.d. and 52 a.d. (Egli), but 
the former year is doubtless right. The 
intrigues of Radamistus in Iberia (placed 
by Saint-Martin in 50) began in 51 ; the 
Iberian invasion of Armenia took place 
in the following year ; and the Parthian 
intervention in 53 (see Furneaux, p. 

The chronology of the first campaigns 
of Corbulo is still more perplexing. 
(1) Egli places the meeting of Corbulo 
with Tiridates on April 29th, 59 a.d., 
and the capture of Artaxata and the 
surrender of Tigranocerta in the same 
year. This view 7 may be rejected at 

once. It is founded on a misconception. 
Tacitus, after describing the meeting 
of Corbulo and Tiridates, mentions a 
miraculum, which Egli identifies with 
the solar eclipse of Apiil 30th, 59 a.d. 
But if Tacitus had meant an eclipse, he 
would not have so described it ; and 
Mommsen has pointed out thatia campaign 
in that climate could not have begun so 
early. (2) Mommsen thinks that the 
taking of Artaxata is to be placed in 
59 a.d., that of Tigranocerta, in the fol- 
lowing year. (3) Mr. Furneaux's view 
seems, on the whole, to involve fewest 
difficulties. He makes Corbulo enter 
Armenia in 57 a.d., capture Artaxata 
in 58 a.d., winter there 58-59 a.d., and 
march to Tigranocerta 59 a.d. The only 
serious difficulty is that Tacitus does not 
mention the wintering at Artaxata, but 
writes as if that place were razed to the 
ground immediately after its capture. 


This disputed question is well summed 
up by Mr. Furneaux (in his note on 
Tacitus, Annals, xii. 50. 8) as follows : 

Tacitus who may probably be follow- 
ing Corbulo, gives one very definite state- 
ment, that it was thirty-seven miles from 
Nisibis, and places it on the Nicephorius, 
described by him as a considerable 
stream, and given by Pliny as a chief 
tributary of the Upper Tigris; but all 
the principal branches of that river flow 
into it from the north and at considerably 
greaier distance from Nisibis than that 
specified. Again the statement of Strabo, 
that it lay at the foot of Mount Masius, in 
a similar position to that of Nisibis, is 
inconsistent with Pliny's statement that 
it was " in excelso " [on a high eminence.] 

(1) Egli, supposing that the city was 
built to command the Bitlis pass, places 
it at Sert on the Bitlis-Su. This dis- 
regards completely the statements of 
Tacitus and Strabo. 

(2) Others placed it at Tell-Abad, or 
some other place within the basin of the 
Tigris on the northern side of Masius. 
This accords fairly with the statement of 
Tacitus as to the distance from Nisibis, 
but the streams there are too imall to 
answer to the Nicephorius. 



(3) Professor Sachau, travelling in the 
country in 1879-1880, found considerable 
remains at Tell-Ermen, a little south- 
west of Mardin, quite thirty-seven miles 
from Nisibis, and on a river. This site 
would agree with the data of Tacitus and 
Strabo, but not with Pliny's connection of 
the Nicephorius with the Tigris. Pro- 
fessor Sachau's view now holds the field. 


At the death of Augustus the number 
of legions was twenty-five, and remained 
at that under Tiberius and Gaius. 
Claudius in making arrangements for 
the conquest of Britain, added one new 
legion, XXII. Primigenia, and under Nero 
three new legions were formed, XV. Primi- 
genia, I. Italica, and the Legio Classica, 
which afterwards probably became the 
I. Adjutrix. Thus at the death of Nero 
there were twenty-nine legions, and they 

were distributed as follows (Pfitzner, 
Geschichte der rom. Kaiserlegionen, 
p. 45): 
Spain : VI. Victrix. 
Germany, Lower: I. Germanica, V. 

Alauda, X. Gemina, XVI. 
Germany, Upper : IV. Macedonica, 

XXI., XXII. Primigenia. 
Britain : II. Augusta, IX., XX. Victrix. 
Pannonia : XIII. Gemina 
Mcesia : III. Gallica. 
Syria : IV. Scythica, IV. Ferrata, XII. 

Judea : V. Macedonica, X. Ffetensis 

XV. Apollinaris. . 
Egypt: III. Cyrenaica, XXII. Dejota- 

Africa : III. Augusta. 
Gaul : I. Italica. 
Rome : Legio Classica. 
Northern Italy : VII. Claudia, VIII. Au- 
gusta, XL Claudia, XV. Primigenia. 
On its way from Briiain to join the 

Eastern Expedition: XIV. Gemina. 

Coin of Arsaces 



EMPERORS (68-69 A.D.). 

1. Position of affairs at the death of Nero. Proclamation of GALBX. 
§ 2. Advance of Galba to Rome. Nymphidius Sabinus. § 3. Cha- 
racter of Galba and his principate. His financial measures. § 4. 
Mutiny in Upper Germany. Galba's adoption of Piso. § 5. Con- 
spiracy of Otho. Deaths of Galba and Piso Elevation of Otho. 
§ 6. Vitellius proclaimed Imperator in Lower Germany. § 7. Vitel- 
lius' plan of campaign. Valens and Csecina. § 8. Difficult position of 
Otho. Measures of his reign. § 9. Vitellius invades Italy. Pre- 
parations. Battle of Locus Castorum. First battle of Betriacum. 
§ 10. Death of Otho. Verginius Rufus declines the Empire. The 
Othonians submit. §11. Vitellius prrives at Rome. § 12. Measures 
and character of his principate. Increase of the prsetorian guards. 
§ 13. The armies of the East. Mucianus. Vespasian, § 14. is pro- 
claimed Imperator, and prepares for war. § 15. Advance of Mucianus 
to Italy. Antonius Primus. § 16. First successes of the Flavians. 
Preparations of Vitellius. § 17. Csecina's plan of campaign. Second 
battle of Betriacum. § 18. Destruction of Cremona. Capture of 
Valens. § 19. Campania deserts Vitellius. Battle in Rome. The 
Flavians besieged by Vitellians m the Capitol. Burning of the 
Capitol. Slaughter of Flavius Sabinus. Primus enters Rome; Death 
of Vitellius. § 20. Vespasian accepted by the senate. § 21. Notable 
points in the civil wars of 69 a.d 

Sect. T. — Galba and Piso. 

§ 1. It has been already explained that with the death of a 
Princeps the Principate ceases until a successor is duly elected. 
This constitutional principle was exhibited in an unusually clear 
light at the death of Nero ; for the interval, the interprincipate, so 
to speak, lasted seven days. And the circumstances were unpre- 


cedented. Hitherto the state had been practically, though not 
theoretically, " the inheritance, as it were, of one family."* But 
Nero had neither begotten nor adopted a son, and at his death 
there was no one belonging to the Julian or Claudian family to 
claim the allegiance of the praetorian guards and the suffrages of 
the senate. Consequently there arose many pretenders to the 
Principate, and there may have been even some thoughts of 
restoring the Republic, though this was hardly seriously contem- 
plated. It was a moment, at least, when people talked much of 
" the senate and the Roman people ; " but the actual decision lay 
in the hands of the armies. But the armies were not at one; and 
the result was a series of civil wars, in the course of which four 
.Emperors rapidly succeeded one another, within the space of less 
than a year. 

The praetorian soldiers had declared for Galba, and to him most 
eyes in Rome and probably in Italy looked. Having equipped 
himself for a contest of whose issue he despaired, Galba was waiting 
at Clunia in Tarrac nensis, supported by the counsels of Otho, Titus 
Vinius and Cornelius Laco. His freedman, Icelus, who was acting in 
his interests at Rome, arrived with the news of Nero's death seven days 
after the event, and Galba assumed the title of Cassar. The creation 
of an Emperor in the provinces was a new departure, and it served 
to give men a glimpse into the real conditions on which the Empire 
depended. " A secret of the Empire was revealed," according to a 
famous saying of Tacitus, " that a Princeps could be made elsewhere 
than at Rome." 

§ 2. The progress of the new Princeps to Rome was slow and 
stained with bloodshed. He 'was recognised b}^ the senate, who 
sent a deputation which met him at Narbo Martius ; but rival 
candidates for the supreme power sprang up on all sides, some 
formidable, others insignificant. The pretenders who arose in 
Spain and Gaul were easily disposed of: but more formidable w T ere 
the pretensions of Fonteius Capito, the legatus of Lower Germany, 
and of Clod ius Macer, the governor of Africa. Macer professedly 
aimed at restoring the Republic, and issued coins with the inscrip- 
tion pro prcetore, in the republican style. f He was killtd by the 
imperial procurator at Galba's instigation. Capito was slain by 
some of his officers who supported Galbi, but without Galba's 
orders. The army of Upper Germany regarded with hostility the 
Emperor who had been elevated in Spain, and still desired to elevate 
their own general, Verginius Rufus, but he persisted in his refusal. 
Galba, however, fearing his popularity with the army, summoned 

* Tacitus : quasi hereditas unius I + But perhaps he did this merely as a 
familiae. I constitutional formality. 



Chap, xbl 

him to his presence, and forced him to accompany him to 

Meanwhile the prsetorian prefect Nymphidius Sahinus made an 
attempt to seize the Empire for himself. He supported his claim 
by pretending to be an illegitimate son of the Emperor Gaius. But 
he miscalculated his influence with the prsetorians, who swore 
fidelity to Galba, and he was cut to pieces. The chief supporter of 
Nymphidius was the consul designate, Cingonius Varro, and he was 
put to death by Galba's order. The slaughter of Petronius Turpilianus 
was also commanded, without any form of trial, because Nero had 
appointed him commander of his forces. When Galba approached 
Rome (in October) he was met at the Milvian bridge by marine 
soldiers, who had been enrolled by Nero. Galba seems to have 
regarded them as enemies, and ordered his soldiers to charge them, 
and entered the city over their bodies. Thus the path of the new 
Emperor was stained with blood. 

§ 3. Servius Sulpicius Galba* was a man of family and wealth. 
The senate had reason to see in his elevation the prospect of a 
return to constitutional government. There is evidence to show 
that he wished to model his policy on that of Augustus. ' But he 
was not strong enough to hold his own. His talents were of 
very mediocre quality, and he has been described as rather 
free from vices than distinguished by virtues. He cared little 
for fame, nor was he grasping, though he was parsimonious 
to a fault. He was much under the influence of his friends 
and freedmen, and in difficulties depended on the advice of 
others more than on himself. His apparent wisdom was often 
mere indolence. But he was not equal to the greatness which was 
perhaps thrust upon him. tl All/' says Tacitus, " would have agreed 
that he was fitted for empire, if he had not been an Emperor." f 
His short principate is marked by a succession of blunders. In the 
first place, his policy in Gaul had been unwise. He identified his 
own cause with the abortive revolt of Vindex, and while he 
rewarded those cities which had joined in that movement, he pun- 
ished Lugudunum, the Treveri, the Lingones, and other communities 
which had remained faithful to Nero. This policy alienated the 
Germanic legions. In Rome the severity of Galba, and especially 
his treatment of the marine soldiers, produced a bad impression, 

* Galba, having been adopted by 
his stepmother Li via Ocelina, look the 
name Livius, changed his praenomen, and 
called himself Lucius Livius Sulpicius 
Galba until his accession. Then he 
reassumed his original name. The order 
of names in his imp erial title varies. We 

find Imp. Serv. Galba Caesar Aug. ; Ser. 
Galba Imperator Caesar Augustus ; Caesar 
Augustus Galba Imperator ; Galba Imp., 

f Omnium consensu capax imperii nisi 
imperasset {Hist., i. 49). 


and his strict ideas of discipline were not popular. He alienated the 
praetorian guards by refusing to give them the donative which 
Nymphidius had promised in his name. 

Nero had left an empty treasury, and the financial measures 
which Galba resorted to were very ill-advised. On the one hand 
he remitted a tax of 2J per cent., of which the nature is unknown. 
But on the other he made an attempt to force those who had 
profited by Nero's liberality to disgorge their booty. He appointed a 
commission to exact from those who had received presents from Nero 
nine-tenths of the amount. But as most of these persons had spent 
their fortunes as lightly as they had gained them, the commission 
had very little result for its labours. Then Galba commanded that 
application should be made to those who had received any money 
from the favourites of Nero, an absurd measure which led to endless 
lawsuits. And besides being unprofitable, this policy was in- 
jurious, for it created many enemies to the Emperor. Moreover the 
parsimony of Galba verged on meanness, and was unfavourably 
contrasted with the open-handedness of his predecessor. It was 
rendered all the more glaring by the rapacity of the three men 
on whose counsels he leaned, Vinius, Laco, and Icelus. He had 
appointed Laco praetorian prefect, and he had raised his freedman 
Icelus to equestrian rank. Vinius was designated as his colleague 
in the consulship for the year 69. These three exerted such an 
influence over Galba, that they were called his " three pedagogues. 5 ' 
Another circumstance which increased the dissatisfaction with 
Galba was that he spared Tigellinus, for whose slaughter Rome 
was clamouring. The freedmen, who had been the intimate 
advisers of Nero, were put to death ; but Vinius, who was 
betrothed to the daughter of Tigellinus, a widow with a large 
fortune, exerted his influence to save him. 

§ 4. Soon after the 1st of January, 69 a.d., disquieting news of a 
mutiny in the army of Upper Germany reached Rome. Galba had 
replaced Verginius by Hordeonius Flaccus, an old general, who was 
incapable of maintaining discipline. Galba was in a difficulty. 
He had no forces which he could trust to oppose this movement. 
The praetorians were lukewarm ; the Spanish legion (VII. 
Galbiana) had been sent to Pannonia; and he had dismissed the 
German bodyguard of his predecessor. There were some divisions 
of Germanic and Illyric legions temporarily stationed at Rome, but 
they were small and uncertain. Galba was decided by his advisers 
to adopt a consort in the Empire. This course might satisfy the 
wishes of the German army, who clamoured for a new Imperator. 
Two names were proposed as candidates for association in the 
Principate. Vinius supported the claims of Otho ; but Laco, who 


always opposed Vinius, and Icelus recommended Piso Licinianus. 
The consultations of this " comitia of the imjperium" * ended in the 
choice of Piso. He was of ancient lineage and high character, but 
he was unpopular, and under the circumstances his choice was a 
mistake. He was adopted under the name Ser. Sulpicius Gaiba 
Caasar, on January 10th ; but the measure did not in the least tend 
to conciliate the soldiery. When the old Emperor announced his 
choice to the praetorians in a storm of rain and thunder, and 
appealed to the example of Augustus, who had in a like way 
associated with himself Agrippa and Tiberius, the soldiers main- 
tained a sullen silence ; only the officers and the front ranks uttered 
the acclamations which made Piso an Imperator. On this occasion 
Galba might have retrieved his first mistake of not giving a 
donative, but on this point he was obstinate. In the senate Piso's 
election was received with approbation. 

§ 5. But while this measure of Galba failed in its intended effect, 
it stirred up against him an active enemy in the person of 
M. Salvius Otho, who had supported Galba from the first, and was 
indignant that Piso was preferred to himself. He had been 
embittered by the long years of exile in Lusitania to which Nero 
had condemned him ; he was weary of restraint ; he was deeply 
involved in debt ; and was ready to risk his life unsparingly for the 
chance of sovran ty. Moreover he was afraid of the jealousy of 
Piso ; and his ambitious plans were fostered by soothsayers and 
astrologers, to whose influence he was subject. The enterprise too, 
seemed hopeful, owing to the general dissatisfaction with the 
government of Galba. Those who were beginning to regret the 
golden days of Nero might hope for their revival under the rule of 
the luxurious Otho. The guards were easily corrupted by two of 
their number who had embraced the cause of Otho. "Two 
manipulars," says Tacitus, " undertook to transfer the empire of the 
Boman people, and they did transfer it." 

The decisive moment came on the morning of the 15th of 
January. Galba was sacrificing before the temple of Apulio on 
the Palatine, and the omens were inauspicious, portending, the 
aruspex said, a foe in his own household. Otho was standing by, 
when a freedman announced to him according to a preconcerted 
signal, that his engineer awaited him. The conspirator immediately 
descended through the house of Tiberius, on the north-west >ide of 
the Palatine, and made his way to the golden milestone in the 
Forum. Here he was met by twenty- three soldiers, who hailed him 
as Imperator, placed him in a litter, and hurried him to the eamp. 
Galba meanwhile was still " importuning the gods of an empire no 

* Comitia imperii (Tac, Hist., i. 14). 

69 A.D. HIS MURDER. 329 

longer his," when the news of Otho's entry into the camp reached 
him. After much irresolution it was decided that Piso should 
precede Galba to the camp, and attempt to quell the mutiny. Then 
a false report came that Otho had been slain, and the Emperor no 
longer hesitated. Accompanied by a cohort and a large multitude of 
the populace, who had declared themselves on his side, he set out 
for the camp. Before he left the Palatine, a soldier ran up to him 
with a bloody sword, crying that he had killed Otho. " Fellow- 
soldier," said Galba, " who ordered you ? " But there in the mean- 
time Otho had been saluted Imperator by the prsetorians, and the 
regiment of marine soldiers had also joined him. Otho armed the 
troops, and led them from the camp into the city, to suppress the 
opposition of the populace and the senators. Galba and Piso had 
halted in the Forum, uncertain whether to advance or to return to the 
palace. When the cohort which surrounded Galba perceived the 
advance of Otho's forces, the standard-bearer dashed the imago to 
the ground, thus showing that the soldiers sympathised with Otho. 
The people fled from the Forum. The litter in which Galba was 
borne was overturned near the Pool of Cur this, and the Emperor was 
hewn in pieces. The murder of Yinius followed, and Piso, who 
had sought refuge in the temple of Vesta, was dragged out and 
slain. The senate did not delay to recognise the Imperator 
whom the prsetorians had chosen. The title of Augustus was 
immediately conferred, and the tribunician power decreed. 

Sect. II. — Otho and Vitellius. 

§ 6. But a rival to Otho* was already in the field. While these 
things were enacted at Home, events of great moment were taking 
place in Germany. After the murder of Fonteius Capito, the 
legatus of Lower Germany, Galba had selected Aulus Vitellius to 
take his place. This Vitellius was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who 
had commanded in the east under Tiberius, and been censor with 
Claudius. Aulus had gained the favour of Nero, had been pro- 
consul and legatus in Africa, but was little fitted for the post for 
which Galba had chosen him. He was insignificant and good- 
natured, sensual and indolent. He had no ambition, but circum- 
stances led him to the supreme power. The legions of both Lower 
and Upper Germany were discontented with the rule of Galba. 
They were jealouSj because he had been created by the Spanish 
legion, and they did not see why they too should not make an 
Imperator. The recall of Verginius had especially exasperated the 

* Imp. M. Otho Caesar Augustus. 



Chap. xix. 

troops of the Upper province and on the kalends of "January the 
lYth and XXTInd legions at Moguntiacum had refused to take 
the oath of allegiance to Galba, and had placed themselves, as 
Galba himself bad done, when he threw off the yoke of Nero, at 
the disposal of the senate and the Roman people. The governor 
Hordeonius did not venture to interfere. But it was in the Lower 
province that a candidate for the Empire was found. On the same 

night the news from Moguntiacum reached Yitellius as he was 
supping at Colonia. He immediately sent messengers to the legions 
of his own province in their various quarters. I. Germanica was 
stationed at Bonna ; V. Alauda and XV. Primigenia at Vetera, 
and XYI. Gallica at Novaasium. On the next day Fabius Valens, 
legatus of legion I., arrived fiom Bonna with some horse-soldiers, 
and saluted Vitellius as Imperator. On the following day (January 
3rd) the Upper army, which had not found a candidate of its own, 
abandoned the empty and high-sounding names of the senate and 
the Eoman people, and acknowledged Yitellius. The ardour of the 


troops was emulated by the provincials of Colonia, the Treveri, and 
the Lingones (whose city is now represented by Langres). Valerius 
Asiaticus, the legatus of Belgica, and Blsesus, the governor of Gallia 
Lugudunensis, along with legion I. Italica, which properly belonged 
to U pper Germany, but was then stationed at Lugudunum, declared 
themselves for the new Imperator. Yitellius himself was perhaps 
the least enthusiastic of all. He took little active part in the 
preparations for overthrowing Galba, and entrusted the conduct of 
his cause to his officers, especially to Aulus Caecina Alienus in the 
Upper province and G. Fabius Valens in the Lower. Carina was a 
young, strong, able, ambitious and popular legatus. 

§ 7. It was decided to advance upon Italy and Eome, and the 
armament was divided into three parts. Cascina, at the head of 36,000 
men, was to cross the Pennine Alps ; Valens, with 40,000, was to 
march through Gaul, and penetrate by the Cottian pass; and both 
were to join their forces at Cremona. Vitellius, with the main body 
of the army, was to come slowly after. His presence was not 
required, for the troops were so excited that they needed no 
stimulus. The cause of Vitellius found great sympathy in those 
parts of Gaul which had declared against Vindex, and had been 
punished by Galba. The progress of Valens was marked by rapacity 
and military licence. All the cities through which he passed 
were required to furnish a contribution to the expedition, and 
special severity was shown to places like Augustodunum and 
Vienna, which had found favour with Galba. Cascina's march lay 
through the highlands of the Helve tii, who resented the licence of 
the soldiers. The natives were fierce, and the course of the army 
was marked by slaughter. The Heivetii were at length driven into 
their town Aventicum (Avenches), and yielded only to the menace 
of a siege. 

But before the army of Vitellius reached Italy, the murder of 
Galba and accession of Otho had altered the position of affairs. 
Otho prepared to meet the armies of his rival, but he first made 
overtures to Vitellius, offering him a quiet and luxurious retreat, if 
he retired from the field. If the decisioa had lain with Vitellius 
himself, this offer would probably have been accepted, but it really 
lay with the army, and the army had no intern ion of retreating. 
The question could only be decided by arms. Most of the western 
provinces declared for Vitellius : the three Gauls, Narbonensis, 
Rastia, and Britain. Otho was recognised in Spain and lllyricum ; 
but Spain soon deserted him, and then the west was entirely on 
the side of his rival. Thus Otho had the prastorians and the 
four legions of Pannonia, Dalmatia, and Moesia to oppose to the 
forces of Vitellius. Besides this, he obtained the recognition of 


the eastern provinces, of Egypt and Africa, though he could look 
for no active support from those quarters. It is highly probable 
that he would have come off victorious in the conflict which 
followed if he had acted with promptitude, and entrusted the 
supreme military command to one competent general. He was no 
soldier himself, but he had at his disposal several able officers, such 
as Suetonius Paulinus, Marius Celsus, Yestricius Spurinna. Instead 
of trusting them, he listened to the counsels of Licinius Proculus, 
the praetorian prefect, who was inexperienced in warfare. And 
instead of hastening to occupy the passes of the Alps before the 
enemy reached the frontiers of Italy, he delayed in Rome. 

§ 8. The position of Otho was a difficult one for a man, who, like 
him, had little talent for ruling men. He was embarrassed by the 
veiled hostility of the senators, who regretted Galba, a man after 
their own heart, and, while they were obliged to accept Otho, 
would have been pleased at his fall. Otho endeavoured to conciliate 
them, and strictly observed their privileges, but in vain. And the 
difficulty was aggravated by the hostility of the praetorians to the 
senators. On one occasion a party of nobles, whom Otho was 
entertaining, were almost murdered by the soldiers, who suspected 
them of a conspiracy against the Emperor. The remarkable cir- 
cumstance that no copper coinage was issued by the senate under 
Otho may be partly explained by the fact that he was not made 
Pontifex Maximus until March 9. The senate may have delayed 
until he received the full number of the imperial titles. The 
enthusiasm of the populace, who greeted Otho as Nero aud looked 
for a revival of Nero's liberal policy, did not tend to conciliate the 
senators. Otho even adopted the name Nero officially, but gave it 
up again in deference to the feelings of the senate. He sacrificed 
Tigellinus, whom Galba had spared, to the public hatred. The 
praetorian soldiers were also a difficulty. They were conscious that 
Otho owed his position to them, and depended on their support, 
as his best arm in the coming struggle. It was therefore impossible 
to oppose them or maintain strict discipline. He had placed him- 
self in a false position at the beginning by allowing them to choose 
their own prefects. 

In the two months which elapsed between the accession of Otho 
and his departure from the city, there are few acts of general policy 
to record. Occupied with preparations for the war, he had little 
time for government. In Spain the colonies of Hispalis and 
Emerita were strengthened. The province of Bastica was increased 
in extent by the addition of some districts in the land beyond the 
strait. Africa and Cappadocia received various privileges. An 
invasion of Moesia by the Roxolani, a Sarmatian tribe, was 

69 A.D. 



repelled, and the victorious officers were rewarded by Otho with 
high distinctions. In these measures, we can see the aim of Otho 
to strengthen his political position. 

§ 9. The civil war began in March. The republic had not been 
rent by domestic struggles, Italy had not been exposed to the 
disasters of warfare, since the terrible years which followed the 
great Cassar's death. Men remembered Philippi, Mutina, and 
Perusia, and looked with horror to a repetition of such scenes, 
And the prospect was all the worse, as neither of the chiefs, for 
whom so much blood was to be shed, was worth fighting for. As 
candidates for the government of the republic, both the dissolute 
Otho and the gluttonous Yitellius were contemptible. They were 
instruments, it seemed, " chosen by fate for the ruin of the state." 
But while Yitellius was torpid, Otho at least was active. When 
the time for action came, he threw off luxury, marched on loot, 
rough and unkempt, at the head of his troops, "quite unlike 
himself."* He set out from the city on the 14th of March, leaving 
his brother Titianus in charge at Eome, and forcing a number 
of senators, whom he feared to leave behind, to accompany him. 

The object of the Vitellians was to gain possession of Rome. 
Until their chief was recognised there, by the people and the 
senate, it was felt that he was only a pretender. The object of 
Otho was to prevent his enemy from crossing the Padus, the 
second defence of Italy ; for the Alps, its first defence, had already 
been passed by Cascina. For this purpose Annius G-allus and 
Yestricius Spurinna had been sent on in advance, with a force con- 
sisting of five praatorian cohorts, and the remainder of the legio 
classica (numbered L) which had escaped the sword of Galba, 
besides a corps of 2000 gladiators. They expected to be reinforced 
by 8000 men, sent forward from the four legions of Pannonia 
and Dalmatia, which were themselves following at leisure. Otho 
followed with the rest of the praetorians and a large number of 
marines. Bj' his fleet he commanded the west coast of Italy, 
and was assured of the adhesion of Corsica and Sardinia. A 
division of troops was sent to seize the district of the Maritime 
Alps and attack the province of Karbonensis. The procurator 
of the Maritime district attempted resistance; and the irritated 
soldiers vented their wrath on the town of Albintimilium, (Yenti- 
miglia). The cities of Narbonensis, especially Forumjulii, J-ent 

* Juvenal indeed describes him as 
carrying a mirror, an emblem of effemi- 
nacy, with him on this expedition, Sat, 
ii- 99 : 

Speculum pathici gestamen Othonis, 
Actoris Aurunci spolium, quo se ille 

Armatum cum iam tolli vexilla iuberet 
lies memoranda novis annalibus atque 

Historia speculum civilis sarcina belli. 



Chap, xix 

for aid to Valens, who was advancing to join Csecina. In the 
battles which ensued, the Vitellian party was worsted, but the 
Othonians retreated to Albingaunum (Albenga), an inland city of 
Liguria. The beginnings of the war in this quarter were prosperous 
for Otho. 

When Csecina entered Cisalpine Gaul, he had won the adhesion 
of a squadron of cavalry which was stationed in that region and 
known as the ala Siliana. Along with it the municipal towns 
of Mediolanum, Eporedia, Novaria, and Yercellse, embraced the 
cause of Yitellius, and the invaders held most of the land between 
the Padus and the Alps. The communication between Home and 
Ulyricum, however, was uninterrupted. One of those cohorts of the 
Pannonian army which had been sent on in advance was captured 
by the Vitellians at Cremona, and some other divisions of the 
Othonians were discomfited near Ticinum ; but the first serious 
engagement took place at Placentia, which was defended by 
Yestricius Spurinna. Csecina himself had crossed the river to 
capture it, but the assault— in the course of which a large 
amphitheatre outside the town was consumed by fire — was un- 
successful. Csecina was forced to retire to his camp near Cremona. 
Meanwhile, Anuius Gallus was hastening to relieve Placentia, but 
on hearing that the enemy had been repelled, he took up a position 
at Betriacum,* a place lying between Cremona and Mantua, and 
distant about two days' march from Yerona. About the same time 
the Othonian corps of gladiators under Marcius Macer crossed over 
to the north bank of the Padus, near Cremona, and defeated a body 
of Yitellian auxiliaries. It was thought that this success should 
have been followed up; the commanders, Gallus, Suetonius and 
Celsus, were severely criticised by their own party, and their 
fidelity to Otho was questioned. In consequence of these sus- 
picions the Emperor was led to summon his brother Titianus from 
Rome, and make him commander-in-chief. 

But before he arrived, the Othonians achieved another success, 
which might have decided the war in their favour, but for the 
ill-judgment or treachery of Suetonius Paulinus. This general and 
Marius Celsus had joined forces with Gallus at Betriacum. Csecina, 
disgusted with his failure at Placentia and anxious to gain a victory 
before the arrival of his colleague Yalens, determined to bring on 
an action, and with this intent placed an ambush of picked 
auxiliaries in woods overhanging the Postumian Way, at a place 

* Mommsen has shown that this is the 
right spelling of the name. It is gene- 
rally spelt Bedriacum. In the texts of 
Juvenal we find another form— Bebria- 

cum (Sat., ii. 105), where he says of 

Summi constantia civis 
Bebriaci campo spolium affectare 


called Locus Castor um (from a temple of Castor and Pollux), 
twelve miles from Cremona. Some cavalry were detached to 
advance along the road, and lure the enemy to the spot. But 
the Othonian generals got intelligence of this stratagem, and 
skilfully arranged a counter-stratagem. Gallus had been hurt 
by a fall from his horse; accordingly Celsus and Paulinus divided 
the command, Paulinus taking the infantry, and Celsus the 
cavalry. They drew up their army on this wise : three prsetorian 
cohorts were placed in columns on the road itself, and formed 
the centre of the array; on the left were posted the advance 
body (2000 strong) of the XHIth legion from Pannonia, with 
five auxiliary cohorts and 500 cavalry; on the right stood I. 
Classica with two auxiliary cohorts and likewise 500 cavalry. 
A body of a thousand picked horsemen was placed in reserve. 
When the Yitellians, according to their plan, pretended to 
retreat in order to draw their opponents into the ambuscade, 
Celsus kept his men from advancing too far, and when the 
ambushed troops, sure of success, rushed out, he gradually retreated 
and drew them on into the snare which had been prepared for 
them. When Celsus and his cavalry, hotly pursued by the enemy, 
reached the three prastorian cohorts stationed on the Via Postumia, 
the legionary soldiers, who were right and left of the Via, advanced 
and closed up in front, so as to oppose a continuous line to the 
pursuers. At the same time the auxiliary cohorts on both sides 
were pushed forward, so as to take the Vitellians in the flanks. 
Finally the reserve body of cavalry was dispatched to ride round 
and come on them in the rear, so that they were completely 
enclosed in the well-contrived snare. But Suetonius, for whatever 
reason, did not act with sufficient promptitude. He wasted time 
in preliminaries, and did not give the signal to the infantry to 
attack, until many of the Vitellians had time to seek refuge in the 
vineyards adjacent to the road, where it was impossible to use the 
pila freely. But when the infantry of Suetonius at length attacked 
they carried all before them. Csecina brought up his cohorts one 
by one, and each by itself was too w 7 eak to withstand the assault 
of the Othonians. Ca3cina and his whole army, it was said, might 
have been annihilated, if Suetonius had not sounded a retreat, and 
hindered his troops from attempting to carry the enemy's camp 
at Cremona. Some suspected him of treachery. 

Valens had already arrived at Ticinum, and soon after this defeat 
pushed on to join forces wdth Cascina at Cremona. Meanwhile 
Otho came himself to Betriacum and held a council of war. 
Suetonius, Gallus, and Marius Celsus, were of opinion that a 
general engagement should not be risked until the arrival of the 


Illyric legions, which in discipline and valour were a match for 
the troops of the Bhine. But Otho could not endure to wait 
longer for the decision of his fate ; and Titianus and Proculus, 
who perhaps thought more of his wishes than his interests, voted 
for immediate action. Otho then retired to Brixellum (Bresello), 
and the army, which was now commanded nominally by Titianus, 
but really by Proculus, advanced westward from Betriacum and 
encamped four miles nearer Cremona. The ultimate strategical 
object seems to have been to reach the confluence of the Padus and 
the Addua, two hours west of Cremona, so as to sever the com- 
munication between that city and Ticinum. Yet it is hardly 
credible that even Titianus would have conceived anything so rash 
as a flank-march past the enemy stationed at Cremona. The 
messages of Otho, who was growing more and more impatient, 
induced his brother, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the 
more experienced generals, to advance further in the direction 
of the enemy. 

Meanwhile the Vitellians had been occupied in building a bridge 
across the Padus, near the mouth of the Addua. Marcius Macer 
with his gladiators had endeavoured to prevent them and a struggle 
had taken place for the possession of an island in midstream, in 
which the gladiators were worsted by Batavian troops. They 
blamed Macer for this discomfiture, and he was with "difficulty 
rescued from their vengeance. Flavius Sabinus was appointed 
in his stead, with a general command over the Othonian forces 
south of the river. 

On the 15th April, Cascina who had been hurrying on the 
building of the bridge, returned to Cremona, to find that the 
Othonian forces had arrived within four miles of the place, that a 
body of their cavalry had attacked the camp, and that Valens had 
given the signal to march forth to fight. The battle which ensued 
— generally called the battle of Betriacum, though more correctly 
the battle of Cremona — is far less interesting from a military point 
of view than that of Locus Oastorum, although, as things turned 
out, it decided the war. A report was spread that the Vitellians 
had abandoned their cause, and the Othonians grounded their arms 
and hailed them as friends. But they were soon undeceived. 
The fighting took place on the highroad and in the groves and 
vineyards on either side. The contending parties were equally 
matched, and on Otho's side the legio dassica displayed conspicuous 
bravery. But there was no general action. The battle consisted 
of a series of desultory conflicts. The result was undecided until 
Otho's generals fled, and at the same moment reinforcements arrived 
for the Vitellians in the shape of the Batavian cohorts which had 

69 ad. FATE OF OTHO. 337 

recently routed the gladiators. Their flank attack was decisive. 
Tbe defeated army fled along the high-road to their camp and next 
morning capitulated. 

§ 10. Otho awaited the result at Brixellum, guarded by some 
divisions of the praetorians. The defeat at Cremona was not in 
'"self necessarily decisive of the war. He had still every chance of 
Gtrieving his fortunes, with the help of the approaching legions 
from Illyricum. But he was weary of the uncertainty, and when 
the news of defeat came, he made up his mind to die. He did 
not think of his obligations to the troops which fought for him ; 
perhaps he felt unable to trust his generals. In the evening 
he called for two daggers, of which he chose the sharper, and 
placed it beneath his pillow. Having slept for some hours, he 
drew forth the weapon at daybreak, and fell upon it. His dying 
groan was heard, and when his slaves rushed in, they found their 
master dead (April 17). If in the effeminacy of his life he was 
supposed to resemble Nero, the resolution which he displayed in his 
death contrasted with Nero's ignoble end.* His body was imme- 
diately placed on a pyre, and some of the praetorians slew themselves 
on the spot. The ashes were buried under a humble monument. 

The praetorians at Brixellum then offered the Empire to Vevginius 
Rufus, who was in attendance on Otho, and he declined their offer, 
as he had before refused that of the legions of Germany. No 
course remained but submission to Vitellius. The victorious armies 
plundered and desolated the Italian cities, which had already 
been exhausted by the soldiers of Otho, and Valens and Caecina 
did not attempt to hinder the rapine. In Rome the news of Otho's 
death was received with joy. The senate met and decreed to 
Vitellius all the imperial titles by a single act (April 19). Just 
as Otho had been regarded as the successor of Nero, Vitellius was 
considered the successor of Galba. The images of Galba were 
borne, crowned with flowers, to the spot in the Forum where he 
had fallen. Everything was done to conciliate the Germanic 
legions, to whose approach Rome looked forward with dread. 

Sect. III. — Vitellius and Vespasian. 

§ 11. Vitellius himself meanwhile had been movirg, with 
characteristic torpor, through Gaul. He had with him about 

* The death of Otho made an impres- 
sion on the Romans. It is celebrated in 
an epigram of the poet Martial (vi. 32) : 
Cum dubitaret adhuc belli civilis Fnyo 

Forsitan et, posset vincere mollis Otho, 
Damnavit multo staturum sanguine 

Et fodit certa pectora tota manu. 
Sit Cato, dum vivit, sane vel Csesare 
maior ; 
Dum moritur, numquid maior Otho 
fult ? 


60,000 men, including the strength of the Germanic armies and 
some divisions which had been sent from Britain. The tidings of 
victory reached him at the same time as the announcement that 
the Mauretanian provinces had declared for him. Lucceius 
Albinus had been appointed procurator of Canadensis by Nero, 
and the Tingitane province had been added to his sway by Galba. 
On Galba's death he embraced the cause of Otho, and threatened 
Spain. But Cluvius Kufus, the legatus of Tarraconensis, on whom 
it devolved to provide for the military protection of Bsetica, 
succeeded in slaying Albinus and his chief supporters. It was 
said that Albinus had some thought of reviving for himself the 
royal title which had expired with King Juba. 

The Impel ator descended the river Arar in a barge, and at 
Lugudunum was met by his victorious generals, Valens and 
Carina. Here he conferred his own title of Germanicus upon 
his infant son. The vengeance of Yitellius cbi< fly fell upon 
subordinate officers, especially those of the Illyrian legions, which 
were sent back to their stations. His rival's brother Titianus, 
Suetonius, Proculus, and Marius Celsus, were all spared. Vitellius, 
perhaps, did not forget that his own wife and children had been 
spared by Otho. The XlVth legion, which had been removed 
from Britain by Nero, was now sent back there. The legio classica 
was dispatched to Spain. The praetorian guard was disbanded, and 
a new guard formed from the Germanic soldiers, who demanded 
this promotion in return for their services. Thus the principle, 
that the praetorians should consist only of Italian levies, was 
transgressed. The new guard consisted of 16 cohorts of 1G00 men 
each, instead of 9 as before. The four urban cohorts were also 
organised anew. Eome was overrun by soldiers. Besides the 
new guards, there were 4 legions,* 4 divisions of other legions,f 
34 cohorts of auxilia, and 12 squadrons of cavalry, all of 
which .had entered Rome with the victor and treaed it as a 
captured city. 

§ 12. The administration of Yitellius was better than might 
have been expected from the licence of his subordinates. He filled 
the offices of his household with knights, not with freedmen. He 
respected the independence of the senate and attended its 
meetings. When he was opposed in the curia, he observed, that 
it was not strange that two senators should differ ; that he himself 
had sometimes dissented from Thrasea. He forbade processes for 
maiestasy and confirmed the privileges which had been granted 
by his- predecessors. He also made laws against the practice of 

* I. Italica, V. Alauda, XXI. Rapax, | f I. Germanica, IV. Macedonica, XV. 
XXII. Primigenia. | Primigenia, XVI. Gallica. 

69 A.D 



Roman knights degrading themselves by fightirjg in the arena, and 
banished astrologers from Italy. Whereas Galba and Otho had 
adopted the cognomen Csesar as part of their imperial style, Yitellius 
refused to affiliate himself thus to the Julian dynasty.* He had post- 
poned the assumption of the title Augustus, but it was pressed on 
him when he arrived in Rome. On the other hand he permitted a 
perpetual consulship to be decreed to him. In regard to his 
attitude to the senate, it is important to remark that he dated 
his accession (dies imperii), not from the day on which the army 
had saluted him Imperator, but from the decree of the senate, 
after Otho's death.f But the real power lay with Valens and 
Cascina. They encouraged the Emperor in the coarse sensuality 
to which he was naturally addicted, while they enriched themselves 
and made all the state appointments. 

The cost of increasing the number of the praatorians, and the 
extravagant expenditure of the gluttonous Princeps on the pleasures 
of the table, led soon to a deficit, to meet which the coinage was 

§ 13. While western Europe was rent with civil wars, and 
Emperors rose and fell in rapid succession, the legions of the 
east looked on with surprise and indifference. Galba and Otho 
were acknowledged in Syria arid Judea ; even Vitellius was 
accepted for a moment. But when it was fully grasped that 
Yitellius had been elevated by the Germanic army, a dormant 
spirit of jealousy began to awake in the legions of the east, 
just as the Germanic legions themselves had been excited at the 
elevation of Galba in Spain. If a Princeps could be made out of 
Italy, why should he not be made in the east as well as in the 
north ? If the army of the Rhine created an Emperor, if the 
army of the Danube supported another, why should not the army 
of the Euphrates have their candidate too? This feeling spread 
among both officers and men, and the east determined to assert 
itself in the c< comitia of the Empire." The only question was, 
who should be the candidate? The most natural person to 
select was C. Licinius Mucianus, the legatus of Syria, a man of 
noble birth, an experienced and able diplomatist, popular with 
the soldiers. But he refused, perhaps because he had no children 
and thought it vain to attempt to found a permanent monarchy, 
except as a dynasty. Then all eyes turned to Titus Flavins 
Yespasianus, the legatus of Judea. He was not a man of high 
descent like Mucianus. He was born of obscure family at 

* Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Au- 
+ It is stated by a late authority that 

Vitellius conferred the title of Imperator 
— that is, the proconsular power — on bis 
son, who was six years old. 


Phalacrine, near Reate, the town of Yarro. We have already met 
him doing good service in the conquest of Britain as the commander 
of a legion. He had afterwards held the consulship (51 a.d.), but 
the fall of Narcissus, his patron, interrupted his career, and it 
was not till after the death of Agrippina, that he again took part 
in public life as the proconsul of Africa (63 a.d.), which he 
administered with integrity. He followed in Nero's train to 
Greece, and was appointed by that monarch governor of Judea 
(66 a.d.) to suppress a formidable rebellion which had broken out 
there. He was slowly and surely carrying this task to a successful 
issue, when the news of Nero's death came ; upon which he with- 
drew his troops from the field of action, and ceased hostilities. This 
act does not imply any ulterior motives on the part of Vespasian. 
His office was delegated to him by Nero, and his authority expired 
with the death of the Imperator who delegated it ; so that he had 
no legal position to act until his powers were delegated to him 
anew by another Imperator. 

§ 14. On July 1st, Vespasian was proclaimed Imperator at 
Alexandria by Ti. Julius Alexander, the Augusta! prefect of 
Egypt, and from this day Vespasian dated the beginning of his 
reign. A few days later the Judean legions followed with en- 
thusiasm at Cassarea; and Mucianus, who zealously assumed the role 
of a " kingmaker," secured the adhesion of both soldiers and citizens 
at Antioch, A probably forged letter of Otho was produced, 
calling upon the East to avenge his death ; and Mucianus inflamed 
the soldiers by stating that Vitellius intended to recall them from 
their luxurious quarters in Syria, and replace them by the legions 
of Gaul and Germany. The choice of the armies was supported by 
the vassal kings, Sohasmus of Sophene, Antiochus of Commagene, 
and Agrippa II., lord of Batanea, Trachonitis, and other districts 
Negotiations were made with the king of Parthia to ensure the 
safety of the eastern provinces during the absence of the legions 
in the west ; and he even offered to place at Vespasian's disposal a 
force of mounted cavalry, but this offer was refused. A council of 
war was held at the colony of Berytus, where Mucianus and 
Vespasian concerted measures for the campaign against Vitellius. 
It was decided that Mucianus should lead the expedition to the 
west ; and that Vespasian himself should occupy Egypt, whose 
possession was very important in a war against Italy, as Rome 
depended for her corn-supply chiefly on Egypt. Titus, the son 
of Vespasian, took his father's place in Judea. 

§ 15. Mucianus marched westward through Cappadocia and 
Phrygia. The number of his troops was not large ; only about 
20,000 or 25,000 men. But he relied upon the accession of the 

69 a.d. PLANS OF VESPASIAN. 341 

armies of the Illyric provinces, which burned to avenge the death 
of Otho. The unanimity of the eastern and Illyric armies was 
expressed on coins, issued at this period, with the words Consensus 
Exercituum. In Mcesia three legions were stationed, III. Gallica, 
VIII. Augusta, and VII. Claudiana. Of these III. had been 
originally in Syria, and was transferred to Mcesia by Nero. 
Mucianus relied on its adhesion, and it did not fail him ; the other 
two followed its example. The two legions in Pannonia, XIII. 
Gemina, and VII. Galbiana, eagerly embraced the cause of 
Vespasian. They were smarting under the defeat which their 
contingents had experienced at Betriacum, and the treatment 
which they received from Vitellius. The Xlllth had been employed 
by Csecina and Valens in the construction of amphitheatres at 
Bononia and Cremona, and had then been sent back to their 
winter-station at Poetovio. Antonius Primus, a native of Tolosa, 
and legatus of the Spanish legion of Galba, threw himself ardently 
into the cause. The legion in Dalmatia (XI. Claudiana) followed 
the example of the others, but with less zeal. Emissaries of 
Vespasian won the adhesion of the XlVth legion, which was 
returning to Britain. 

The march of Mucianus was slow, like that of Valens through 
Gaul. He collected money as he went, on the principle that 
- "money is the sinews of civil war."* He was fully aware of the 
difficulty of the enterprise ; he had a high idea of the valour of the 
Germanic legions ; and his wish was, if possible, to avoid bloodshed 
and reduce Italy by a blockade. The stoppage of corn -supplies 
from Egypt might, it was expected, produce a revolution in Rome. 
But the Illyric legions, under the influence of Antonius Primus, 
took matters into their own hands, and did not wait for the arrival 
of the eastern forces. At a council of war held at Poetovio, Primus 
urged the expediency of surprising Italy while it was still unpre- 
pared, and his counsels were adopted, in spite of the letters from 
Mucianus and the opposition of the governor of Pannonia, Tampius 
Flavianus. The latter was suspected by the soldiers of sympathy 
with Vitellius, and had little influence. A message was sent to 
Aponius Saturninus, governor of Mcesia, to hurry on with his 
army ; the Jazyges, who dwelled between the Danube and the 
Theiss, were engaged to undertake the defence of the Danube 
during the absence of the legions, and two Suevian kings, Sido and 
Italicus, joined the expedition against Italy. The procurator of 
Raetia was faithful to Vitellius, and in order to prevent him from 
intervening, troops were sent to the river CEnus (Inn), which 
divided Raetia from Noricum. 

* Belli civilis nervos (Tacitus, Hist,, ii. 84). 


§ 16. Primus advanced, in front of the main body, with some 
detachments of horse and foot He occupied Aquileia and the 
passes of the Julian Alps, but instead of waiting on the confines of 
Italy, as Mucianus desired, he proceeded to Opiteryum (Oderzo), 
and Altinum, in which places he was gladly welcomed. Patavium 
declared for his cause, and likewise A teste (Este), where he heard 
that some Yitellian troops were stationed at Forum Alieni (which 
is perhaps the modern Legnago on the Adige). He surprised them, 
and thus the beginning of the war declared in favour of the 
" Flavians," as the party of Flavius Vespasianus was called. On 
the news of this small success, the two Pannonic legions marched 
rapidly to Patavium, and it was decided to make Verona the basis 
of further operations. Vicetia (Vicenza) was taken on the march 
to Verona, which city they prepared to besiege. The lllrd and 
Vlllth legions soon arrived from Mcesia. Outside Verona the 
governor of Pannonia, Flavianus, and the governor of Mcesia, 
Aponius, were set upon by the soldiers, who suspected them of 
treachery to the cause, and escaped with difficulty. Their flight 
left the conduct of the campaign entirely in the hands of Primus. 

Meanwhile, Vitellius was ill-prepared to oppose the forces which 
had approached to wrest the Empire from his hands. The breaking 
up of the old legions for the sake of the reorganisation of the 
prsetorians had been, under the circumstances, a fatal mistake. 
They were weakened not only by the decrease of numbers, bat by 
the relaxation of discipline in their Italian quarters, and there was 
no bond between the veterans and the new recruits, who were 
raised to fill up the maniples. Vitellius formed a new legion 
from the marines of the fleet of Misenum. He expected reinforce- 
ments from the provinces, but the governors of Germany, Britain, 
and Spain made excuses for delay. Africa alone, where Vitellius 
had formerly won popularity as proconsul, showed some alacrity. 
When the news of the approach of the enemy came, Cascina 
was sent on to defend the north of Italy ; Valens was detained 
at Rome by illness. The army which Cascina led against the 
Illyric legions wore a very different appearance from that which 
it presented when it descended from the Alps to play the part 
which the Illyric legions were now about to play against it. The 
Germanic troops had lost their vigour and their enthusiasm. 
They were enervated by the climate; their arms were in bad 
order, their horses lazy. The vigour of Cascina himself had suffered 
from the pleasures of success, and perhaps he meditated treachery 
before he left the city, under the influence of Flavius Sabinus, 
the prefect of the city, Vespasian's elder brother. 

§ 17. The plan of Csecina was to make the river Athesis the line 


of defence. Cavalry were sent in advance to occupy Cremona, 
which played an important part in this as in the former war. Y. 
Alauda, and XXII. Primigenia, with the divisions of four other 
legions* followed ; last of all, XXI. Rapax, and I. Italica, with 
the divisions of the Britannic legions, which had been sent to 
support Vitellius against Otho, marched to the north. The two last- 
named legions were sent to Cremona, the other forces to Hostilia, 
a village still existing as Ostiglia, on the lower course of the Padus. 
Caecina himself turned aside to Ravenna, in order to concert with 
Lucilius Bassus, the commander of the fleet, a treacherous desertion 
of Vitellius. Bassus was discontented because he had not been 
appointed praetorian prefect. It was soon known that the fleet had 
gone over to the enemy ; this was the first blow to the cause of 
Vitellius. Caecina's army had encamped between Hostilia and the 
marshes of the river Tartarus, which flows into the Adriatic between 
the Padus and the Athesis. It was a good position ; the camp was 
covered by the river on the rear and flanked by the marsh. If 
Caecina had been in earnest, he should have been able to crush the 
two Pannonic legions before the Mcesian troops arrived. But he 
delayed action on various pretexts ; allowed the five Flavian legions 
to assemble at Verona ; and finally tried to persuade his soldiers to 
desert to Vespasian. But his attempts were vain. The troops 
restored the images of Vitellius, which he and a few officers, 
whom he beguiled, had thrown down; and bound Caecina himself. 
They elected as their leaders, Fabius Fabullus, legatus of the 
Vth legion, and Cassius Longus, prefect of the camp. Then they 
moved back to Hostilia, and proceeded to join the other legions at 

When Primus learned what had happened, he determined that 
it was the favourable moment for action. The plans of the 
Vitellians had been thrown out by the desertion of Caecina ; they 
had no leader of authority until Fabius Valens should arrive from 
Rome. Primus hastened to anticipate his arrival, and led his army 
in two days from Verona to Betriacum, in order to intercept the 
legions coming from Hostilia. Encamping at' Betriacum, he 
advanced himself with some cavalry and cohorts of auxiliary foot 
towards Cremona, and falling in with some Vitellian troops, 
defeated them. The two legions stationed at Cremona — Italica and 
Rapax — then came up, and were beaten back by the Flavian 
legionaries who had been summoned from Betriacum. In this 
conflict Primus left nothing undone that devolved upon a good 
general and a brave soldier. As the evening was falling, the whole 
body of the Flavian army came up, and the soldiers were eager to 
* See above, note f, p 338. 


hurry on to Cremona and take it by assault. The efforts of 
Primus himself, who tried to expose the folly of such an attempt, 
would hardly have been sufficient to restrain them; but the news 
arrived that the six legions of Hostilia had reached Cremona. 
They had crossed to the right bank of the Padus, and marched to 
Cremona by Parma; and although they had accomplished thirty 
miles that day, they were so excited by the news of the defeat that 
they hastened to attack the Flavians the same night. Thus, in the 
same place where the struggle had been decided between Otho 
and Yitellius, was also to be decided the struggle between Vitellius 
and Vespasian. Primus made his dispositions for the battle as 
follows. He placed the XUIth legion in the centre, on the Via 
Postumia. Next it, on the left, in the open plain, was stationed 
VII. Galbiana, and beyond it VII. Claudiana; on the other 
side were placed, in corresponding positions, VIII. and III., of 
which the latter was protected by dense underwood. The 
praetorians, whom Vitellius had disbanded, had joined Vespasian, 
and they stood near the Illrd. The flanks and rear were fringed 
with cavalry. The Suevian auxiliaries were in front. About 
nine o'clock in the evening the Vitellian legions approached 
and drew up in disorder. Weary though they were with the long 
march, with hunger and cold, they pressed the Flavians hard, and 
the fierce and doubtful battle lasted the whole night through 
The VHth Galbiana was especially hard pressed, but it was 
sustained by Primus, who sent the prastorians to assist it. The 
ballistas and engines of the Vitellians, which they planted on the 
causeway, wrought great mischief among the Flavian ranks, till 
two brave soldiers lost their lives in cutting the cords which im- 
pelled the missiles. Fortune began to declare for the Flavians, 
when the moon rose in their rear at an advanced hour of the night, 
and rendered the aim of the enemy more difficult. Primus rallied 
his flagging troops. The Illrd, which had been originally stationed 
in Syria, saluted the rising sun, and from this incident a report 
was spread that Mucianus had arrived with the eastern army. 
The Flavians, believing themselves reinforced, fought with con- 
fidence, and their foes, completely routed, fled to Cremona. 

§ 18. Primus led on his victorious troops, excited with the 
prospect of plunder, against Cremona. In the war with Otho, the 
German soldiers had made their camp round the walls of the city, 
and surrounded the camp with a rampart. The Flavians stormed 
the camp with much labour, and then the town capitulated. But 
the soldiers, who hated the place, which had been twice the head- 
quarters of the Vitellians, and burned with the desire of plundering 
the wealthy colony, did not respect the capitulation. Primus had 


retired to refresh himself with a bath, and when he complained 
that the water was not warm enough, the attendant said, " It will 
soon be hotter." The word was seized by Some who heard it, and 
interpreted as a permission to burn the city. Forty thousand 
armed men, with crowds of camp-followers, burst into the place ; 
and the inhabitants experienced all the horrors of military licence. 
The " miserable Cremona " burned for four days, and no edifice 
was left in it, except the temple of Mefitis, the deity of the 

If Yalens had hurried northward, he might have reached 
Cremona in time to change the course of history. But his 
movements were slow. He sent three prsetorian cohorts which had 
followed him to Ariminum, went himself to Eiruria, and having 
heard of the result of the battle of Cremona, took ship for Gaul, 
intending to rouse the northern provinces to retrieve the cause of 
Yitellius. But Valerius Paulinus, the procurator of Narbonensis, 
who had embraced his friend Vespasian's cause, succeeded in 
capturing Valens. Then the legions of the western provinces, 
Spain, Gaul, and Britain, declared for Vespasian. Meanwhile 
Umbria was occupied by the Flavians, and the cohorts at 
Ariminum were blockaded by land and sea. Italy was divided by 
the Apennines between Vespasian and Vitellius. The contest was 
not yet over, for the praetorian guards, the pick of the Germanic 
army, had taken no part hitherto in the war, and were still to 
be dealt with ; and Vitellius had still a strong natural defence in 
the Apennines. Primus, leaving most of his army at Verona, led 
a force consisting of auxiliary cohorts and chosen legionaries, along 
with the Xlth legion from Dalmatia, to Fanum Fortunae. At 
this place, the present Fano, which lies between Ancona and 
Ariminum, the Flaminian road reaches the Adriatic Sea. Here 
Primus waited, expecting that the troops of Vitellius would desert 
the Emperor. 

§ 19. In the meantime Vitellius had been burying his cares in 
sensual gratifications. At first he could hardly believe the tidings 
from Cremona, but when he was at length wakened out of his 
sleep, he sent fourteen cohorts to defend the Apennine passes at 
Mevania (Bevagna), near Fulginiuin, on the Flaminian road. 
To these forces was added a new marine legion, which he formed 
from the fleet of Misenum. The remaining cohorts were kept to 
defend the city, under the command of his brother, Lucius Vitellius. 
The Emperor himself visited the camp at Mevania, but on the 
news that the Misenum fleet had declared for the enemy, he 
returned to Rome. The next blow was the defection of Campania. 
The Samnites, Marsians, and Pelignians followed. Vitelli/is 


divided his forces ; some were stationed at Narnia, to oppose the 
advance of the Flavians, others were sent to check the movement 
in Campania. Primus crossed the Apennines with great difficulty, 
owing to the heavy snow, and stationed himself at Carsulse, north 
of Narnia, where he was presently joined by his legions. The 
Yitellian cohorts had little spirit to fight ; but when the head of 
Fabius Yalens, whom they believed to be in Germany collecting a 
new army, was exhibited to them, they no longer hesitated, and sub- 
mitted to the victor, who treated them with clemency (December). 
Primus then offered terms to Vitellius ; if he submitted, he and 
his children should have a safe retreat in Campania. Mucianus 
wrote to the same effect, and Vitellius readily agreed to the 
proposal. " Such a torpor had seized upon his spirit that he would 
himsell have forgotten that he was Princeps, if the rest had not 
remembered it." The transference of the Empire took place in the 
temple of Apollo. Vitellius came forth from the palace, clad in 
black, with his family around him, and proceeding to the Forum, 
offered his dagger to the consul Csecilius, who refused to accept it. 
He then turned towards the temple of Concord, to deposit there the 
insignia of Empire, but a number of the praetorian soLliers prevented 
him, and compelled him to return to the palace (December 17th). 
These adherents would not permit him to carry out the agreement. 
Senators and knights, the urban soldiery, and the cohorts of the 
watch (yigilts) had gathered to the house of Vespasian's brother, 
Flavius Sabinus, who had acted as a mediator. They urged 
Sabinus to occupy the palace in his brother's interest. But as they 
conveyed him thither (December 18th), they were attacked by the 
Vitellians at a place called the Pool of Fimdanius. Sabinus and a 
few others fled to the Capitoline hill, and shut themselves up in 
the temple of Jupiter. The Vitellians guarded the approaches, 
but during a violent storm of rain Sabinus communicated with his 
friends and received into the place of refuge both his own children, 
and his nephew Domitian, the son of Vespasian. The next 
morning the Vitellians assaulted the Capitol.* From the Forum 
they rushed up the Clivus, but the Flavians, issuing on the roof of 
the portico, which reached from the temple of Saturn to the 
Capitol, hurled down stones and tiles. The assailants then set fire 
to the portico, and would have passed through the burnt door into 
the court of the temple if Sabinus had not torn down the statues 
and monuments which filled the place, and thus constructed a 
barrier. Foiled here, the, Vitellians attempted other ways of 
ascent. One of these rose from the shoulder of the hill, another 
was close to the Tarpeian rock, and known as the Hundred 
* For the topography of the Capitoline, cf. above, Chap. X.'$ 5. 


Stairs. By the former especially they forced their way along the 
tops of houses and with the help of fire. At length the conflagration 
broke out on the summit of the lull, and the temple of Jupiter was 
consumed. Domitian escaped and hid himself in a porter's hut, 
but Sabinus was seized and carried to the palace, where, in spite of 
the attempts of Vitellius to save him, he was slain, and his trunk 
dragged to the Gemonian Stairs outside the Career (December 
li)th). Immediately after this, Cerealis, who had been sent on by 
Primus, arrived with one thousand horsemen, and tried to force his 
way into Rome. But the Yitellians were prepared, and drove him 

Primus was himself close at hand, and had reached Saxa Rubra 
when he learned the destruction of the Capitol, and the repulse of 
Cerealis. The slaughter of Sabinus rendered farther negotiations 
impossible, and a deputation of the Vestals, beseeching for a 
conference, was rejected. The Flavians attacked Rome in three 
divisions ; one party approached the Colline gate, another marched 
through fields along the bank of the Tiber ; and a third band, 
between these, advanced along theFlaminian Way. The Vitellians, 
who had armed the rabble and the slaves, went forth to meet them, 
but were driven back with slaughter. Conquerors and conquered 
entered the city together, and the battle was renewed in the streets. 
Then the praetorian camp was stormed. It is said that 50,000 men 
were slain in this capture of Rome. Vitellius tried to make his 
escape to join his brother Lucius, who held Tarracina, but he was 
discovered, dragged from his hiding-place, and amid the mockery 
of the soldiers was haled to the Gemonian stairs, and slain with 
insults (December 20th or 21st). His last words were } erhaps the 
only he had ever uttered worth recording : " Yet I was your 
Imperator." Thus perished the first Emperor who had been set up 
by the Germanic legions. His brother Lucius Vitellius, who had 
occupied Tarracina, soon afterwards surrendered, and was put to 

§ 20. For a second time in the same year, Rome was occupied 
by a victorious army, and citizens were exposed to the licence of 
soldiers greedy for plunder, whom their leader Primus did not keep 
in check. Domitian, the second son of Vespasian, was installed in 
the palace, and received the name of Caesar, but the power was in 
the hands of Primus, a soldier whom Vespasian had no intention of 
placing in such a position. But he did not enjoy the pleasures of 
power long. Mucianus presently arrived, and his entry into the 
city was felt as a relief. He acted as a semi- official representa- 
tive of Vespasian, until Vespasian came himself. He sternly 
suppressed the licence of the soldiers, dismissed the Illyric legions 


from Eome, and taught Primus his place. He put to deafti 
Galerianus, the son of Piso, whom Galba had made his colleague, 
and Asialicus, a freedman of Vitellius. 

The senate hastened to make the victorious Imperator a 
legitimate Emperor by the usual decrees, conferring on him the 
proconsular power, the title Augustus, and other prerogatives. 
The tribunician power, however, does not seem to have been 
conferred upon him until a considerably later time. The Emperor 
and his elder son Titus were designated consuls for the year 70. 
The prsetorship and consular power were decreed to Domitian. The 
triumphal ornaments were voted to Mucianus for his defence of 
Moe&ia against a Dacian invasion, which had taken place as hp 
passed through that province; Antonius Primus and Arrius Varus, 
who was made praetorian prefect, received the lesser distinctions of 
the consular and prsetorian insignia respectively. 

§ 21. Thus the remarkable Year of the Four Emperors came to 
an end. The events between the death of Nero and the victory of 
Vespasian throw instructive light on the conditions of the Empire. 
The following points deserve notice. (1) The most striking motive 
which determined the course of the civil wars was the exclusive and 
jealous esprit de corps which was growing up among the different 
armies. The Germanic army was hostile to Galba, because he was 
proclaimed by the Spanish legion, and the eastern and Illyric armies 
were jealous of the Germanic troops, because they proclaimed 
Vitellius. (2) Galba, however, cannot be considered so strictly a 
candidate set up by the. soldiers as Vitellius and Vespasian. He 
posed as a senatorial candidate, and was not forced upon the senate 
in the same way as the Emperors who came from Germany and 
Syria, (3) Each successive Emperor professed to represent the 
cause of him whom his rival had overthrown. Vespasian came to 
avenge Otho, and Otho came to avenge Nero, and Vitellius, though 
when first proclaimed he was the rival of Galba, afterwards posed 
as his successor. (4) Although the legions arrogated the right of 
creating Emperors, they recognised that their candidates were only 
pretenders until they possessed Eome, and were acknowledged by 
the senate. (5) The dilemma in which the Empire was placed in 
regard to the question of dynastic succession is clearly shown. 
While the hereditary principle was followed, weak or bad rulers, 
like Gains and Nero, were an inevitable result. On the other hand 
when there was no candidate with an hereditary claim to the 
Piincipate, the state was exposed to the dangers of civil war, such 
as followed on the death of Nero. (6) Dynastic succession, how- 
ever, was considered the least evil. The fact that he had no 
children, deterred Mucianus from accepting the empire, and perhaps 

69 A.D. 



the same motive influenced Verginius. Both Otho and Vitellius 
destined their children as their successors, and Yespasian founded 
a new dynasty. Galba, who had no children, resorted to the 
principle of adoption, following the example of Augustus. (7) 
Each of the Emperors, with the exception of Vitellius, attached 
himself in a certain manner to the house of the Julii and Claudii 
by adopting the name Csesar ; and even Vitellius assumed it in 
his last crisis. 




There is great difficulty in under- 
standing the intention of the Othonians 
in making that advance in the direction 
of Cremona which led to their defeat in 
what is called the first Battle of Betria- 
cum. If we were told that they had 
marched to Cremona in order to bring 
matters to an immediate issue with the 
Vitellians who were encamped there, the 

matter would be simple. But Tacitus 
{Histories, ii. 40) says that their intention 
in setting out was not to fight a battle, 
and that their goal was not Cremona, but 
a point to the west of Cremona, namely, 
the confluence of the Adda with the 
Padus, near which the Vitellians had 
been building their bridge. That the 
Othonian leaders would have attempted 
to reach this point by marching past 
Cremona, and so exposing themselves t« 
a flank attack of a terribly dangerous 



Chap. xix. 

kind is not impossible, but seems im- 
probable. Mommsen regards it as in- 
credible, and thinks that Tacitus mis- 
understood the situation. Tacitus has 
certainly gone wrong in his distances. 
The Othonian camp was four miles west 
of Betriacum, and therefore sixteen miles 
from Cremona. The confluence of the Po 
and Adda is more than two hours' march 
west of Cremona. But Tacitus gives 
sixteen miles as the distance between the 
confluence and the camp. Various ex- 
planations have been suggested. (1) 
While the ultimate object of the march 
may have been the mouth of the Adda, 
the goal of the first day's march may 
have been a point four miles west of 
Cremona. For Celsus and Paulinus ap- 
prehended that the Vitellians would 
issue from their camp, fresh and unen- 
cumbered, and attack them there {vix 
quattuor millia passuum prngressus). 
From this point they may have intended 
to turn northward and reach some point 

on the road from Cremona to Brixia 
(Brescia), and so cut the communication 
between the Vit llians and the North. 
Thence, on the arrival of the legions from 
lllyricum, they might have prepared to 
advance to the mouth of the Adda, and 
enclose the enemy on all sides in Cre- 
mona. (So Heraeus.) (2) It has been 
suggested that the words profecti con- 
fiuentes Padi et Adu&e fluminum should 
be simply profecti confluentes fluminum, 
the names having been inserted by a 
copyist ; and that Tacitus really referred 
to the union of the Caneta, a small stream, 
with the Po, at a point east of Cremona. 

One thing at least seems clearly implied 
in the narrative of Tacitus. Whatever 
was the ultimate purpose of the Othonian 
leaders, they intended, on the day of the 
battle, either to pitch their camp, or to 
turn off from the Postumian Way, at a 
point about four miles from Cremona. 

Arch of Titus. 



1. The Balavian auxiliaries fight for Vitellius, and return to Gaul. 
§ 2. Revolt of Civilis, instigated by Primus. § 3. State of the two 
Germanic provinces. First successes of Civilis. Revolt of the Bata- 
vian cohorts at Moguntiacum. They join Civilis. § 4. Civilis 
besieges Vetera. The Roman forces at Gelduba. § 5. News of defeat 
of Vitellius. Relief of Vetera, and Roman victory. § 6. Mutiny of 
legions, and murder of HordeoDius Flaccus at Novaesium. § 7. The 
Tmperium Galliarum. Defection of the legions. § 8. Fall of Vetera. 
The prophetess Veleda. Colonia Agrippinensis spared. § 9. Insta- 
bility of the Gallic empire. § 10. Victory of Sextilius Felix at Bingium. 
§ 11. Cerealis arrives and occupies Augusta Treverorum. Civilis 
attacks Roman camp, and is defeated. § 12. Battle of Vetera. § 13. 
Civilis retreats to the Island. End of the war. § 14. General 
character of the episode of Civilis. § 15. Changes in the army in 
consequence of the rebellion. § 16. The rebellion in JUDEA brewing. 
§ 17. it breaks out (66 A.D.). Disturbances in Caesarea and Jeru- 
salem. The Zealots. Cestius Gallus replaced. § 18. Vespasian 
conducts the war. Josephus. § 19. Siege and capture of Jerusalem 
by Titus. § 20. Consequences of the war. 


Sect. I. — First Stage of the Revolt of Civilis. 

§ 1. While the legions were contending for the right of electing a 
Princeps, and Italy was devastated with civil war, the Empire was 
threatened in two opposite quarters, in the south-east and in the 
north-west, with serious danger from rebellious provincials ; and 
to meet these dangers was the first task that devolved upon 
Vespasian. We shall see presently how the insurrection in Judea 
was suppressed ; there he had merely to finish a work which was 
already half accomplished. We must first follow the curious and 
terrible rebellion, which,, breaking out among auxiliary troops 
of the Germanic army, extended to the free Germans beyond 
the Rhine, and led to the foundation of a transitory "Gallic 

In the province of Lower Germany the Batavians, who occupied 
the delta of the Rhine — the district enclosed between the Vahalis 
(Waal) and the Rhine proper — held a peculiar position. Their 
fidelity to the Empire had been conspicuous ; they had taken no 
part in that movement of their countrymen which led to the defeat 
of Varus. They paid no tribute, but on the other hand, they were 
'required to supply a very large contingent of recruits to the army. 
They did not grumble at the burden of this conscription. They 
were brave and daring soldiers, skilful in riding and swimming. 
Eight Batavian cohorts, associated with the XIV th legion in Upper 
Germany, had been sent with that legion to take part in the 
conquest of Britain, where they had distinguished themselves 
conspicuously by their valour. Both the legion and its auxiliaries 
were recalled by Nero to aid in the eastern expedition which he 
planned at the end of his reign ; but the revolt of Vindex, which 
had just then broken out in Gaul, led to a discord between the 
legionaries and the cohorts. While the legions hastened to Italy 
to defend their master, the 8000 Batavians refused to follow. This 
was probably due to the fact that two Batavian officers, Julius 
Civilis and Claudius Paullus, had been accused falsely of treason, 
and while Paullus was put to death by Fonteius Capito, governor of 
Lower Germany, Civilis had been sent to Nero, and thrown into 
prison. After Nero's fall Galba released Civilis, and ordered the 
Batavian cohorts to return to Britain. But when they had reached 
the city of the Lingones, the insurrection of the Germanic army in 
favour of Vitellius took place, and after long hesitation the 
Batavians embraced his cause. They did him good service in the 
battle of Betriacum, where they measured swords with their former 
comrades of the XlVth, which was fighting for Otho. After 

69 ad. JULIUS CIVILIS. 353 

the victory the Batavians were commanded to accompany the 
XlVth to Britain, but the legion and the cohorts came to blows 
at Augusta Taurinorum (Turin), and separated, the legionaries 
proceeding to Britain, and the Batavians to Moguntiacum. The 
latter were soon summoned back by Vitellius, when he was 
threatened by Vespasian. But Antonius Primus sent a messenger 
to hinder their complying with this summons, and immediately 
afterwards a revolt broke out in Germany, which prevented the 
troops in the north from taking part in the conflict in Italy. 

§ 2. The organiser of this revolt was Julius Civilis. He was 
looked up to by his Batavian countrymen on account of his high 
descent, and he was "a man of more brains," says Tacitus, "than 
barbarians are usually endowed with." He had only one eye, and 
he liked to compare himself to Hannibal and Sertorius, who were 
disfigured in a like way. The idea of the revolt is said to have 
been suggested by Primus, who thought in that way to keep the 
Germanic legions at a distance. The plan served his immediate 
purpose, but the revolt assumed far larger proportions than he 
could have anticipated, The unfairness of the Boman levies was 
a sufficient grievance. If Civilis began by playing for Vespasian, 
he ended by playing for himself. It is impossible to say whether 
he had matured the deeper game of a rebellion against Kome from 
the very beginning. He first roused the inhabitants of his native 
country to rebel. Calling the chiefs of the Batavians to a nocturnal 
banquet in a sacred grove, he revealed his scheme of revolt. The 
Canninefates, the northern neighbours of the Batavians, w^ere next 
gained over, and then the Frisians ; and messengers were sent to 
Moguntiacum, to secure the adhesion of the eight Batavian cohorts. 
Somewhere near the mouth of the Bhine was a winter camp of 
two Koman cohorts ; it was seized and destroyed. This wa3 the 
first act of the revolt. The other garrisons in the territory were soon 
dislodged from their castella, and a cohort of Tungrian auxiliaries 
went over to the rebels ; and part of the Bhine fleet, numbering 
twenty-four ships, fell into their hands. These successes supplied 
the insurgents with arms and ships, and Civilis invoked both 
Germany and Gaul to join him in supporting the cause of 

§ 3. At this time both Lower and Upper Germany were 
under the single command of Hordeonius Flaccus, an old and 
utterly incompetent man, decrepit with gout, who was inclined 
secretly to Vespasian's cause, and was suspected by his soldiers of 
treachery to Vitellius. The pemnant of the legions which had 
accompanied Vitellius and his generals to Italy may have been 
partly supplemented by new recruits, but in no case can they have 


consisted of more than about half the usual number. In Lower 
Germany the Vth and XVth were stationed at Castra Vetera 
under the legatus Munius Lupercus ; the XVIth under Numisius 
Rufus at Novsesium (Neuss), between Vetera and Colonia; the 
1st under Herennius Gallus in the southern extremity of the 
province at Bonna. The boundary between the two Germanics 
was at the river Abrinca, south of Rigomagus (Remagen). Thus 
Connuentes (Coblenz) belonged to the Upper province. In it two 
legions, IV. Macedonica and XXII., lay at Moguntiacum. It is 
possible that part of XXI. was also left in garrison at Vindonissa 
(Windisch), but it took no part in the earlier events of the 

By the command of Flaccus, the two legions of Vetera marched 
against the rebels, who were now receiving promises of help from 
the German tribes beyond the Rhine. Both legions together hardly 
amounted to 5000 men, but Munius Lupercus obtained reinforce- 
ments from the Ubians and cavalry from the Treveri. He had also 
a squadron of Batavians, who feigned fidelity in order to desert him 
in the action. The battle was fought north of Vetera, and was 
decided by the desertion of the Batavian horse, who suddenly turned 
upon the Romans. The Ubians and Treveri fled, and, while the 
Germans pursued them, the legions retreated to Vetera. 

Meanwhile the messengers of Civilis had moved the eight 
Batavian cohorts at Moguntiacum to rebel. They made large 
demands from Flaccus; and when he had made considerable conces- 
sions, they insisted on further demands which they knew could not 
and would not be granted. Then they left the camp, and set out to 
Lower Germany, to join Civilis. The general, instead of ordering 
his legions to cut the mutineers to pieces, allowed them to depart ; 
but presently, changing his mind, sent a letter to Herennius Gallus 
at Bonna, bidding him prevent the Batavians from passing, and 
promising to follow with his own army in the rear. Then, changing 
his mind once more, he wrote again to Gallus, ordering him to allow 
them to pass. This shuffling conduct of Flaccus gives good ground 
for suspecting him of treachery. The Batavians reached Bonna by 
the road on the left bank of the Rhine, and sent a message to 
Gallus, demanding that they should be allowed to pass in peace. 
The legatus was almost disposed to comply, but his soldiers com- 
pelled him to try the fortune of a battle. The 1st legion was 
completely defeated, and driven back to the camp. The victors, 
taking no further advantage of their success, continued their north- 
ward march, and, turning aside to avoid Colonia Agrippinensis, 
joined the army of the insurgents. 

§ 4. Civilis was now in command of a regular army ; and German 


tribes from beyond the Rhine, such as the Bructeri and the 
Tencteri, had nocked to his standard. He made an attempt to 
induce the two legions which had retreated to Vetera after the 
defeat to embrace the cause of Vespasian, but they were obdurate 
in their loyalty to Viteliius. He resolved to blockade the camp, 
and ranged his troops on both banks of the Rhine. Vetera was not a 
strong position, either by nature or by art. On the west side there was 
a level approach to the prajtorian gate. Augustus had regarded it 
as a winter station, from which the legions should go forth to attack 
the Germans, not as a place in which they might have to defend 
themselves against German assailants. Lupercus and Rufus had 
to repair the fortifications, which had suffered from the effects of a 
long peace. The attempts of the Germans to storm the place were 
unsuccessful, and they were obliged to blockade it. Flaccus in 
the meantime had sent messengers throughout Gaul, to obtain 
auxiliaries, and, on learning the danger of Vetera, despatched Dillius 
Vocula, the legatus of the XXIInd, with chosen legionaries 
to march to its relief with the utmost speed. Flaccus himself 
followed by ship. The troops, when they heard of the successes 
of Civilis, murmured loudly that Flaccus was playing them false ; 
and in order to appease them, Flaccus read aloud a letter which 
had arrived from Vespasian, and sent the bearers in chains to 
Viteliius. When he reached Bonna he was assailed by the 
reproaches of the 1st legion, who attributed their defeat by the 
Batavian cohorts to his false promises. But he reassured them of 
his good faith in some measure by reading copies of the letters 
which he had sent to Gaul, Britain, and Spain for assistance. 
Auxiliary troops from Gaul were already arriving, and the army 
advanced by Colonia to Novsesium, where they picked up the 
XVIth legion, and proceeded to Gelduba (Gelb), a little lower down 
the river. Here the leaders Vocula and Gallus, to whom the 
conduct of the warfare was entrusted, made a camp and practised 
the soldiers in the operations of war. Apparently the demoralisa- 
tion of the troops was such that the officers did not feel prepared to 
risk an action at Vetera, until the discipline was confirmed. The 
temper of the soldiers is shown by an incident at Gelduba. A corn- 
ship had run into the shallows of the river, and Germans on the 
right bank were trying to capture it. Gallus sent a cohort to 
prevent them, but the Romans were defeated. The soldiers accused 
their officer of treachery, dragged him out of his tent, beat him, and 
kept him bound until the arrival of Vocula, who was absent on an 
excursion against the Cugerni, a tribe which dwelled north of the 
Ubii. Vocula executed the ringleaders. 

§ 5. Civilis did not confine his operations to Vetera. He sent 


troops beyond the river Mosa, to stir up the Menapii, Morini, and 
other tribes of north-eastern Gaul. Another band ravaged the 
lands of the Treveri and Ubii. The Ubii were made the mark of 
special hatred, because under their new name of Agrippinenses 
they seemed to have renounced their German origin ; and their 
cohorts were defeated at Marcodurum (Duren). A third band 
threatened JMoguntiacum. Such was the state of affairs at the end 
of October (69 a.d.) when the news of the great defeat of Vitellius 
at Cremona arrived. The Gallic auxiliaries immediately declared 
for Vespasian ; at Novassium and Gelduba the legions took the 
military oath to the new Emperor, but without enthusiasm. 

It was now necessary for Civilis to declare himself, and show 
whether the sole object of his revolt was the elevation of Vespasian. 
His mask could no longer deceive anyone ; it w 7 as clear that the 
deliverance of the Germans of Northern Gaul from the Eoman yoke 
was the aim of the war. He sent a force, including the eight veteran 
Batavian cohorts, against the army at Gelduba. In their rapid 
march from Vetera they seized Asciburgium (Asberg), and 
swooped down upon the Roman camp so suddenly that Vocula had 
no time to spread out his line. He placed the legions in the 
centre, and the auxiliaries surrounded them in irregular order. 
The battle almost proved a defeat for the Romans. The cavalry 
advanct d, but turned and fled before the firm array of the Germans, 
and brought confusion into the ranks of the cohorts, who were 
then easily cut down by the foe. The auxiliary Nervii deserted, 
and the legions were being discomfited, when the tide of battle 
was turned by an unexpected reinforcement. Cohorts of the 
Vascones of the Pyrenees — supposed to be the forefathers of the 
Basques — enrolled by Galba, when he was governor of Tarra- 
conensis, happened to arrive at this moment, and attacked the 
enemy in the rear. The Germans, believing that forces had 
arrived from Novassium or Moguntiacum, were disconcerted and 
utterly routed. After this victory Vocula at length advanced to 
the relief of Vetera, which was suffering severely from want of 
supplies, and succeeded in entering the place after a hard fight 
with the besiegers. The beasts of burden and the camp-followers 
were sent to Novassium, to bring provisions by land, as the enemy 
commanded the river. The first supply was conveyed safely, but 
on the second occasion Civilis attacked the cohorts which escorted 
the train of waggons, and compelled them to retreat to Gelduba. 
Vocula, having added to his own army a thousand chosen men of 
the legions of Vetera, marched to Gelduba, and, as the cohorts 
refused to return to Vetera, proceeded to Novsesium, the head- 
quarters of Flaccus. 

69 a.d. MURDER OF FLACCUS. 357 

§ 6. Here a mutiny broke out. A donative for the soldiers had 
arrived from Yitellius, and Flaccus distributed it in the name of 
Vespasian. The soldiers, excited by the carouses which followed, 
revived their anger against Flaccus, dragged him out of his tent 
and slew him. Vocuia would have experienced the same fate had 
he not escaped from the camp in disguise. The army proclaimed 
Yitellius Emperor, although he was already dead (these events 
seem to have taken place in the last days of December). But 
the legions of Upper Germany soon dissociated their cause from 
that of the others. Along with legion I., they placed themselves 
under the command of Yocula, renewed their allegiance to Vespasian, 
and marched up the Rhine to deliver Moguntiacum, which was 
threatened by the Chatti, the Usipi, and the Mattiaci. But on 
their arrival the enemy was already departing. Vocuia remained 
during the rest of the winter at Moguntiacum. Civilis renewed 
the blockade of Vetera, and occupied the camp of Gelduba, which 
the Romans had abandoned. 

Sect. II. — Second Stage of the Revolt. The Imperium 

§ 7. On the news of the death of Vitellius, the mask of Civilis 
was finally thrown off, and he acknowledged that he was fighting 
against the Roman people. The destruction of the Capitol by fire 
produced a profound impression upon the superstitious minds of the 
Gauls, who believed that it betokened the approaching end of the 
Roman Empire. The remnant of the Druids interpreted it as a 
sign of heavenly wrath, and prophesied that the nations north of 
the Alps were soon to become the lords of the world. A conspiracy 
had been organized by Julius Classicus, a distinguished nobleman 
of the Treveri, and prefect of a squadron of cavalry which had 
fought under Valens against Otho. He renewed the design of 
forming a Gallic kingdom, which had been tried in vain by Sacrovir, 
and perhaps contemplated more recently by Vindex. His chief 
associates were his countryman Julius Tutor, and Julius Sabinus, a 
Lingon, who pretended to be descended from a bastard of Julius 
Caesar. The conspirators met in Colonia, and maintained secret 
communications with Civilis. Their first object was to get rid of 
Vocuia, and they accomplished it by a similar deceit to. that which 
Arminius practised on Varus. They induced Vocuia to leave 
Moguntiacum, and descend the Rhine to relieve Vetera, which 
was hard pressed. On the march from Novassium to Vetera, the 
troops of Classicus and Tutor rode forward on the pretext of 
reconnoitring, and entrenched themselves at a distance. Vocuia was 


unable to persuade them to return, and could not enforce obedience. 
He was compelled to fall back on Novaesium: the Gauls encamped 
at a distance of two miles. Vetera could not hold out much longer, 
and when it fell, the whole army of the Germans would be free lo 
attack Novaesium. Under these circumstances, the legions deter- 
mined to desert the cause of Rome and declare for the imjperium 
Galliarum, which was being proclaimed by Classicus. Vocula 
appealed in vain to their better feelings, and when he found they 
were determined to join the standards of Classicus and Civilis, he 
decided that nothing was left for himself but to die. Before he 
had time to make arrangements for a voluntary death, he was slain 
by an emissary of Classicus— a legionary soldier who had deserted. 
The other legati, Gallus and Numisius, were thrown in chains. 

§ 8. r l hen Classicus, assuming the insignia of a Roman Emperor, 
entered the camp of Novaesium. Bold though he was, he found no 
words to express or defend his assumption of such a dignity; he 
merely read out the oath of allegiance. The Human soldiers swore 
fidelity to the " Empire of the Gauls." The dream of Sacrovir and 
Vindex was at last accomplished, if only for a moment. Classicus 
and Tutor divided between them the work of reducing the two 
Rhine provinces under the new empire which was thus inaugurated. 
Tutor undertook to secure the adhesion of the IVth and XXIInd 
legions at Moguntiacum. The officers were slain and th< j 
soldiers took the same oath as their comrades at Novaesium. 
Classicus himself proceeded to Vetera,, where the wretched garrison, 
reduced to the last extremities of hunger, were supporting life on 
the herbs that grew among the stones. They sent envoys to the 
Batavian chief, asking to be permitted to leave the place alive, and 
their prayers were granted when they took the oath of loyalty to 
the new empire. But five miles from Vetera they were treacherously 
attacked by the escort of Germans whom Civilis had ordered to 
accompany them, and many were slain. Vetera was dismantled 
and burned, and in like manner all the other winter stations of the 
legions, including Bonna and Novaesium, were destroyed except 
Moguntiacum and Vindonissa. The latter place was at such a 
distance that it was quite unaffected by the rebellion. The 
XVIth legion and the auxiliaries which had surrendered at 
Novaesium and the 1st legion from Bonna were commanded to 
repair to Augusta Treverorum — which Classicus and Tutor doubt- 
less inteuded to make the capital of the new empire — within a 
given time. On their march thither they had to endure the 
mocking of the inhabitants through whose country they passed, 
and one squadron of cavalry, the ala Picentina, unable to endure 
the shame of the position, left the procession, and went to 


Moguntiacum. On their way they fell in with the murderer of 
Yocula, and dealt with him as he deserved. 

Munius Lupercus, who had commanded the garrison of Vetera 
during the long blockade, was sent among other gifts to Veleda,* a 
German prophetess who played a part in this rebellion, and 
exercised great influence over her countrymen. This maiden 
belonged to the tribe of the Bructeri, and lived remote from the 
abodes of others in a solitary tower on the river Luppia. She had 
predicted the success of the Germans and the destruction of the 
legions, and the accomplishment of her prophecy confirmed her 
power. She was soon called upon to exert it for the purpose of 
hindering her countrymen from abusing their victory. 

The Ubii had been faithful to Rome throughout the rebellion ; 
but when the legions yielded, nothing was left for them but to 
yield too. The question was then agitated by the Germans, 
whether they should destroy Colonia, or leave it standing. Jealousy 
of the privileged position of the Ubii and desire of plunder prompted 
the trans-Rhenane tribes to counsel its destruction, but Givilis 
judged that clemency would be the better policy. The Tencteri 
sent an embassy to the coiony, and demanded that the inhabitants 
should pull down their walls, slay all the Romans within their 
borders, and resume their German habits and institutions. But the 
Agrippinenses escaped from the fulfilment of these requisitions by 
appealing to the authority of Civilis and the prophetess Veleda, 
The Sunuci, who lived west of the Ubii on the Mosa, were then 
reduced ; and the Nervii, Tungri, and Bastasii, who still maintained 
the cause of Rome under the leadership of Claudius Labeo, a 
Batavian, but a rival of Civilis, submitted. 

§ 9. The new Gallic empire had no firm foundation, and was not 
destined to prosper. It had sprung up by means of the Batavian 
rebellion; but Civilis and the Batavians, although they made 
common cause with Classicus in pulling down the Roman power, 
stood aloof from the imperium Galliarum. The Germans had no 
intention of throwing off Roman for the sake of Celtic rule. But 
besides, the Gauls themselves were for the most part by no means 
favourable to the project of the Treveri and the Lingones. Julius 
Sabinus cast down the bronze tables on which the treaties between 
Rome and the Lingones were inscribed, assumed the name of Caasar, 
and marched at the head of a disorderly band of his countrymen 
against the Sequani. But the Sequani were faithful to Rome, and 
beat back the spurious Caasar, who deserted in the middle of the 
battle, and by burning down the house to which he fled caused it 
to be supposed that he had killed himself. But he really remained 
* Statius, Silv., i. 4. 90 : Captivasque preces Veleda. 


hidden in a subterranean retreat for no less than five years, kept 
alive by bis wife Epponina. He was finally discovered, and put to 
death, along with bis wife, by Vespasian's orders. 

Tbe declaration of tbe Sequani against the Gallic rebels was 
soon confirmed by the verdict of a common council summoned by 
the Remi, who took upon themselves the initiative in this crisis. 
It was put to tbe states of Gaul wbetber they preferred "liberty 
or peace." The Treveri were represented by Julius Valentinus, 
but the arguments of Julius Auspex, a noble of the Remi, carried 
the day, and a letter to tbe Treveri was composed " in the name 
of tbe Gauls," calling upon them to desist from war. The strongest 
motive of the Gallic states in adhering to Rome was perhaps 
mutual jealousy. The question presented itself: supposing the 
empire of the Gauls to be established, what city will be the centre? 
Tbe other states would certainly never bave submitted to be ruled 
from the city of the Treveri or the city of the Lingones. It does 
not appear that the idea of a Federal Union— like that of tbe 
Achaean League — occurred to any of tbe Gallic patriots. 

§ 10. In the meantime Mucianus and the government of Vespasian 
were making preparations to suppress the rebels of the north, botb 
Germans and Gauls. Q Petillius Cerealis was appointed to the 
command in Lower, Annius Gallus, the general of Otho, in Upper 
Germany. Two of the victorious legions, the VHItb of Mcesia 
and the Xlth of Dalmatia, along with one of tbe Vitellian legions, 
the XXIst, whose station was Vindonissa, were cbosen for tbe 
expedition, and marched nortbward by the Pennine, Cottian, 
and Graian Alps. Moreover tbe XlVth was summoned from 
Britain, and VI. Victrix and X. Gemina from Spain. But the 
rebels did not realize, or at least took no steps to meet, the 
danger whicb was approaching. Civilis was engaged in pursuing 
his enemy Claudius Labeo, in tbe wilds of Belgica. Classicus was 
enjoying his position as head of an empire. Tutor talked about 
occupying the Alpine passes, but omitted to do so. He had indeed 
increased the forces of tbe Treveri by the accession of the Vangiones 
and other small tribes, and some of the legionaries of Moguntiacum 
joined bis army. Sextilius Felix, the officer wbo had been set by 
the leaders of Vespasian to watcb Rsetia, was tbe first to arrive on 
the scene of action with bis auxiliary cohorts. One cobort wbicb 
be sent on in advance was routed by the forces of Tutor, but on 
the approach of the rest and of tbe XXIst legion, which had 
reached Vindonissa, tbe legionaries deserted, and tbe allies of the 
Treveri followed tbe example. Tutor with bis Treverans retreated 
to Bingium, and took up a position on the left bank of the Nava 
(Nahe), having broken down the bridge. But the cohorts of 

70 a.d. CEREALIS AT TRIER. 361 

Sextilius crossed by a ford, and routed the Treveri. The legions, 
who had been compelled to post themselves at Augusta Treverorum, 
on the news of this defeat, took an oath of allegiance to Vespasian, 
and marched to the town of the Mediomatrici, called in older days 
Divodurum, in later days Mettis, now Metz. The leaders Tutor 
and Valentinus roused the Treveri again to arms, and put to death 
the legati Herennius and Numisius, whom they had kept prisoners. 

§ 11. Petillius Cerealis now arrived at Moguntiacum. His con- 
tempt for the enemy, and his rejection of a Gallic levy, inspired his 
troops with confidence and confirmed the Gauls in their obedience. 
He united the remnant of the legions of Moguntiacum with his 
own army, and marched in three days, at the rate of nine hours 
a day, to Rigodulum (Riol), about ten miles from Augusta 
Treverorum, lower down the Mosella, protected on one side by 
the river, on the other by steep hills. This place had been 
occupied by a large band of Treveri under Valentinus, who had 
entrenched himself behind ditches and stone barricades. The 
troops of Cerealis boldly stormed the position, and Valentinus 
himself was captured. They then entered Augusta Treverorum, 
the soldiers burning to destroy the home of Classicus and Tutor — 
a city, they said, far more guilty than Cremona, which had paid 
so heavily for its part in the Vitellian war. But the august city, 
which was destined hereafter to become the capital of a Belgic 
province, and even a seat of Roman Emperors, was spared by the 
decision of.Cerealis. 

When Civilis and Classicus learned that the Romans held 
Augusta Treverorum, they tried to tempt the ambition of Cerealis 
by offering him the imperium Galliarum. Cerealis did not deign 
to reply to the letter, which he sent to Rome; and the rebels 
prepared for a decisive battle. Civilis counselled delay, until they 
should receive reinforcements from the trans-Rhenane tribes ; but 
Tutor urged that if they delayed, the Roman forces would be 
increased by the legions which had been summoned from Spain 
and Britain. The advice of Tutor was followed, and the forces of 
the insurgents unexpectedly attacked the Roman camp. Augusta 
Treverorum lies on the right bank of the Mosella ; the Roman camp 
was pitched on the left bank, to protect the town against the foe 
coming from the north. On the night of the attack Cerealis 
himself happened to be sleeping in the city, and he was awakened 
by the news that his troops were fighting, and getting the worst 
of it. The enemy had made a way through the camp, routed the 
cavalry, and occupied the bridge which connected the town with 
the left bank. The boldness and presence of mind of the general 
retrieved the fortune of the legions. Placing himself at the head 


of those whom the foe had driven before them into the town, he 
recovered the bridge, and, reaching the camp, rallied his men. 
Everything was in favour of the enemy, and the victory which the 
Romans secured seemed almost miraculous. 

§ 12. The Agrippinenses gladly returned to their allegiance to 
Rome; they slew the Germans in their city, and destroyed a 
cohort of Chauci and Frisians, which was stationed at Tolbiacum 
(Zulpich), by making them intoxicated and then setting on 
fire the house in which they slumbered. The rebels in Belgica 
were suppressed by the XlVth legion, which arrived from 
Britain. On the other hand the Britannic fleet was defeated by 
the Canninefates, who were more skilful in managing ships, but 
this success did not hinder the suppression of the rebellion. The 
next defeat of Civilis took place at Vetera, where, having gathered 
together his forces after the defeat at Augusta Treverorum, he had 
taken up a strong position. The army of Cerealis, doubled in 
number by the arrival of the legions from Spain and Britain, 
proceeded to Yetera ; but the combat was delayed by the nature of 
the ground. The fields, always marshy, had been flooded by the 
art of Civilis, who had built a mole into the Rhine from the right 
bank, and so caused the river to overflow. Thus the Romans could 
not approach the camp, and when they attempted to fight in the 
deep marsh, the Batavians, skilful in swimming, had the advantage. 
On the following days, Cerealis drew out his line of battle. The 
cohorts and cavalry were placed in front ; the legions in the centre, 
and a chosen band in the rear, in case of emergencies. Civilis 
arranged his forces in deep columns. The Cugerni and Batavians 
were on the right, the trans-Rhenanes on the left and nearer the 
river. The Germans began the battle by missiles, but could not 
provoke the Romans to enter the marsh. When the missiles were 
spent, they drew nearer, and with long lances pierced the front 
ranks of the soldiers, who were slipping and tottering on the 
margin of the morass, and could not with their shorter weapons 
reach the assailants. Then a column of the Bructeri, who were 
stationed on the right bank of the river, swam across from the 
mole already mentioned, and fell upon the right wing of the 
Romans. The cohorts seem to have had the worst of it all 
along the line, but the legions, when it came to their turn, stood 
their ground. The battle was decided by the interposition 
of a Batavian deserter, under whose guidance two squadrons of 
cavalry went round by the extremity of the marsh, where there 
was solid ground and the Cugerni were keeping careless watch, and 
attacked the enemy in the rear. The legions at the same time 
pressed on more vigorously in front, and the Germans fled to the 

70 a.d. BATTLE OF VETERA. 363 

river. The approach of night and the nature of the ground pre- 
vented a pursuit. 

§ 13. After this defeat Civilis could no longer hold his position 
on the Rhine. He made no attempt to defend the " town of the 
Batavians," which is perhaps the modern Cleves, but retreated into 
the island. He destroyed the dam of the Rhine, begun by Drusus 
and finished in the reign of Nero (55 a.d.), which was intended to 
divert the waters of the left arm of the river into the right or 
eastern channel. When it was broken down, the waters plunged 
into the left channel, called the Yahalis, and the right channel, or 
the Ehine proper, was rendered shallow. The result of this act of 
Civilis was that the Island of the Batavians was made, as it were, 
part of Germany — a trans-Rhenane land ; instead of being, as 
before, a part of Gaul. The remnant of the " empire of the Gauls," — 
Tutor, Classicus, and more than a hundred Treveran senators — also 
found refuge in the home of Civilis, which was now " beyond the 
Rhine." Cerealis led his forces down the river, and occupied various 
posts. The Xth was stationed at Arenacum (the village of 
Ryndern, near Cleves), the Ilnd at Batavodururn (nearNymwegeu), 
while cohorts and alee of the auxiliaries were sent to Grinnes and 
Vada, places close to each other on the Vahalis. Cerealis himself 
probably made the " town of the Batavians " his headquarters. 
Civilis divided his forces into four parts, to attack these posts of the 
Romans. The assault on Vada he undertook himself, Grinnes was 
assigned to Classicus ; while Tutor and Verax, a nephew of Civilis, 
marched against Arenacum and Batavodurum. The assault on 
Arenacum resulted in the slaughter of the prefect of the camp and 
some officers and soldiers. At Batavodurum, where the Romans 
were building a bridge across the river, there was an indecisive 
skirmish. On the Vahalis the fighting was more serious. Julius 
Briganticus, another nephew of Civilis, but his bitter foe and a 
faithful adherent of the Romans, was slain ; and the Germans, 
reinforced by Tutor and Verax, were winning the day, when the 
arrival of Cerealis with a band of cavalry decided the battle in 
favour of the Romans. The enemy were driven into the' river. 
Civilis and Verax escaped by swimming, and Tutor and Classicus 
were rescued by boats. They would have been captured if the 
Roman fleet had come in time. 

The conduct of the campaign by Cerealis had been marked by 
great want of caution and great good-luck, He did not mature his 
plans, and yet they generally succeeded ; fortune favoured him when 
he ought to have failed. But his carelessness about details of 
discipline proved almost fatal to him a few days after the 
victory of Vada. New camps were being constructed at Novaesium 


and Bonna, as winter was approaching, and Cerealis sailed up the 
Ehine to inspect them. An escort of foot accompanied him, 
marching along the banks, and, as he was returning, the trans- 
Rhenane Germans — Tencteri and Bructeri, doubtless — who were on 
the watch, observed that the soldiers did not keep together, and 
were careless about their night encampments. Choosing a dark 
night, they entered the camp, cut the ropes of some of the tents, and 
massacred the soldiers who were unable to extricate themselves. 
They also dragged away the vessels, including the " praetorian 
ship" of the commander, which was towed up the Luppia, and 
presented as a gift to Yeleda. The cause of this disaster was that 
the watch had fallen asleep, having been ordered not to sound the 
bucina or trumpet, lest they should disturb Cerealis, who was 
engaged in a love adventure somewhere in the neighbourhood. 

Civilis soon abandoned the defence of the Vahalis and retreated 
beyond the true Rhine into the country of the Frisians. The 
Romans then crossed the Yahalis, and laid waste the Batavian Island, 
sparing, however, the private possessions of Civilis, in order to 
excite the suspicions of his countrymen, just as Archidamus had 
spared the property of Pericles in the Peloponnesian war, and 
Hannibal that of Fabius Maximus. But the Batavians were ready 
to return to their allegiance; the trans-Rhenanes were ready to 
make peace; and Civilis, seeing the inclinations of his followers, 
resolved to save his own life by capitulation. He sought an inter- 
view with Cerealis A bridge across the river Nabalia — perhaps 
the Yssel or the Vecht — was severed in the centre, and the two 
leaders conversed from the broken extremities, and made their 
terms. No record remains as to the ultimate fate of Civilis or of 
his Gallic allies, Classicus and Tutor. The Batavians resumed the 
same position which they had held before ; they paid no tribute, but 
were largely employed as auxiliaries. The submission of the trans- 
Rhenane Germans, who took part in the war, is shown by the fact 
that the prophetess Yeleda was conveyed as a captive to Rome. We 
may take it for granted that Mucianus, who along with the 
Emperor's son Domitian* had come to Lugudunum, in order to be 
near the scene of operations, had a decisive voice in making the 
final negotiations. 

§ 14o The revolt of Civilis could never have taken place but for 
the strange position in which the Roman Empire was placed after 
the death of Nero. It was a direct consequence of the action of 

* This circumstance gave the poet 
Silius an opportunity of addressing the 
Emperor Domitian (iii. 608) as 
lam puer auricomo praeformidate Batavo. 

Juvenal refers to the revolt of Civilis 
when he speaks (viii. 51) of the domitique 
Batavi custodes aquilas. 


the Germanic legions, and is merely another act of the same drama 
to which the civil wars in Italy belonged. It exhibits the mistrust 
of officers and relaxation of discipline which generally prevailed. If 
the legions asserted at Betriacum their part in the Empire, the 
auxiliary troops asserted themselves in the movement of Civilis. It 
was primarily a rebellion of the auxiliaries, but it involved in its 
.train aggressions of tbe free Germans beyond the Rhine, and the 
attempt to set up a Gallic empire. Civilis has been called a suc- 
cessor of Arminius, and Arminius, like him, had been an officer in 
the Roman army. But it must be remembered that the Cheruscans 
were only tributaries, and did not, like the Batavians, supply the 
army with recruits. The Batavian war was properly a revolt 
within the army itself, though it accidentally assumed larger 

Civilis has also been called a successor of Vindex, but this is due 
to a misconception. Civilis indeed used the- name of Vespasian, 
as Vindex used the name of Galba ; but the idea which, according 
to all appearance, Vindex cherished of making a Gallic kingdom 
was renewed, not by Civilis, but by Classicus, Tutor, and Sabinus. 
The Batavians and the Gauls had a common interest in their 
hostility to Rome, and so far they co-operated; but Civilis had 
nothing to do with the imjperium Galliarum. It is remarkable, 
however, that the states which took the leading part in establishing 
the Gallic kingdom, at which Vindex had aimed, were tbe Treveri 
and Lingones, the very people who had refused to join his enterprise, 
and had sided with Verginius Rufus against him. On the other 
hand, the Sequani, who had supported the cause of the Aquitanians, 
declined to move when the same cause was represented by Treverans 
and Lingons. The events of the rebellion show clearly that the 
Gauls in general, apart from a few disaffected tribes, had come to 
see that their true interests were best served by remaining faithful 
to Rome. They saw that to win freedom by the help of Germans 
beyond the Rhino would only bring upon them a new Ariovistus. 
It should also be remarked that the part played by the free Germans 
was a small one. The revolt only affected those tribes which dwelled 
close to the Roman limes, and did not call forth any movement in 
central Germany. Moreover, the motive which attracted the 
Bructeri and Tencteri to the Batavian standard was rather the 
hope of immediate plunder than the expectation of any lasting 
success against the Roman power. 

§ 15.- When the revolt was quelled, Vespasian adopted the wise 
policy of letting bygones be bygones. It was of course impossible 
to ignore the conduct of the Germanic legionaries, who had failed 
so signally in meeting the responsibility which had fallen to their 


share — who had taken the oath of allegiance to the Julius of 
Trier. The four legions of the Lower province (I., V., XV., XYI.) 
and one legion of the Upper (IV. Macedonica) were broken' up ; the 
XXIInd, the legion of Vocula, was pardoned. But Vespasian 
had learned a lesson from the rebellion, and he made a very 
important change in the organisation of the auxilia. The cohorts 
and alse no longer consisted of men of the same nation. Batavians 
and Treverans, for example, were scattered among all the auxiliary 
regiments indifferently. Moreover, the command of the auxiliaries 
was no longer entrusted to natives, like Arminius and Civilis, but 
to men of Italian origin ; and these troops were not employed in 
the neighbourhood of their homes. The result was that a rebellion 
like that of Civilis did not occur again. 

Sect. III. — The Revolt of Judea and Destruction of 

§ 16. In regard to the Jews, Claudius followed the policy of 
Tiberius. Their worship was checked in Italy ; but toleration was 
granted to them in their own land and in the east. Claudius went 
even further. He gave all the lands which had formed the kingdom 
of Herod to his friend Herod Agrippa, thus returning, as he loved 
to do, to the system of Augustus. By this means direct collision 
between the Romans and Jews was avoided ; Agrippa acted as inter- 
mediate. But when he died in 4A a.d., his son Agrippa, aged seven- 
teen years, was considered too young to -take his father's place, and 
Judea was once more made a province of subordinate rank. From 
this moment a spirit of hatred and rebellion fermented in Judea. 
The Jews had not forgotten how Gaius had insisted upon receiving 
divine honours ; they feared that another Emperor might do the 
same, and regarded all Roman Emperors as abominable. National 
sentiment and religious bigotry were inseparable for the Jews ; and 
the fanatics burned to cast off the Roman yoke or die in the 

The insurrection did not break out till 66 a.d., but it was 
prepared during twenty-two years. The great fault of the Romans 
was that, instead of stamping out the elements of opposition, they 
tried to humour an irreconcilable people, and yielded, wherever it 
was possible, to the prejudices and absurd demands of the Jews. 
Thus a Roman soldier was executed because he had torn a roll of 
the law. Another mistake was that too small a military force was 
kept in the province and was mainly recruited from the province 
itself. As for the Jews, they brought their destruction upon 
themselves. The high priests were worthless and violent, and 

52-66 ad. KEVOLT OF JUDEA. 367 

took advantage of the yielding spirit of their rulers to make 
most unreasonable demands. During these twenty-two years the 
Romans were continually trying to suppress the brigands of the 
hills, whom the Jews called Zealots. They combined the spirit of 
the robber with that of the religious fanatic. Cuspius Fadus, the 
first procurator under Claudius, routed them out of their strongholds 
and slew them. But the evil broke out again under his successor, 
Tiberius Alexander, a nephew of the philosopher Philo, and he 
succeeded in capturing two noted leaders, Jacobus and Simon, sons 
of Judas the Galilean, whom he crucified. There was a constant 
feud between Galilee and Samaria, and the latter district was 
subject to the incursions of armed bands of Galilean brigands. This 
led to a serious collision in the year 52 a.d., in which Ummidius 
Quadratus, the governor of Syria, was obliged to interfere. The 
affair was attributed to the rivalry of the two procurators, Cumanns 
of Galilee, and Felix of Judea and Samaria ; and Quadratus having 
held an investigation punished Cumanus, and pleased the Jews 
by executing a tribune, named Celer, in Jerusalem. Felix, who 
was equally to blame, escaped, because he was the brother of the 
powerful freed man Pallas, and the husband of Agrippa's sister 
Drusilla. The troubles continued under Festus and Albiuus, the 
successors of Felix. War against Rome was preached in the streets; 
miracles and prophecies were the order of the day ; the Zealots of 
the hills were as violent as ever. There was no real grievance. It 
was not the case of an oppressed people rising against oppressors, or 
bondmen struggling for their freedom. The war was due to the 
fanaticism of short-sighted peasants. 

The authority over the temple and its treasures, and the nomina- 
tion of the high priests, had been assigned in 44 a.d., not to the 
procurator, but to Herod of Chalcis, and after his death in 48 a.d. 
had been transferred to his heir Agrippa. In 53 a.d. Agrippa had 
received, instead of Chalcis, the districts of Batanea, Auranitis, 
Trachonitis, Gaulonitis, and Abilene, along with the title of king, 
and two years later he received from Nero Tiberias and Tarichea 
in Galilee, and Julias in Persea. Agrippa stood by the Romans 
faithfully throughout the Jewish war. 

§ 17. The insurrection broke out under the procurator Gessius 
Florus (64-66 a.d.). Csesarea was inhabited by Greeks and Jews, 
possessing the same civil rights, the Jews being the more numerous. 
But under Nero the Greeks disputed the rights of the Jews, and 
appealed to the government at Rome. Burrus decided in favour 
of the Greeks, and the citizenship was declared to be a privilege 
which did not belong to the Jews (62 a.d.). This decision led to 
tumults in the town. Finally the Jews left Cassarea, but were 


compelled by the governor to return, and then slaughtered in a 
street riot (Aug. 6, 66 a.d.). 

In Jerusalem, things came to a crisis at the same time. The 
Jews were divided into two parties ; the men of moderation, who, 
putting their trust in the Lord, were ready to endure Roman rule 
without resistance, and the men of action, who resolved to found 
the kingdom of heaven by the sword. The former were the 
Pharisees, the latter the Zealots, and the power of the Zealots was 
on the increase. To this party belonged Eleazar, son of the high 
priest Ananias.* He was a young man of upright character ; but it 
has been said of him that his virtues were more dangerous than his 
father's . vices. He was overseer of the Temple, and he forbade 
those who did not belong to the Jewish faith to present offerings to 
Jehovah in the outer court, although this had always been 
permitted by tradition. f He refused to listen to the remonstrances 
of the wiser Jews. The moderate party resolved to make an 
attempt to put down the fanatics. They asked the Romans and 
King Agrippa for help; and Agrippa sent some cavalry. But 
Jerusalem was filled with extreme patriots and desperadoes known as 
" men of the dagger," who were ready to exterminate supporters of 
Roman rule. The Roman garrison in the citadel was surprised and 
cut to pieces. The greater number of the moderates, the soldiers 
of Agrippa, and some Romans, occupied the king's palace on Zion, 
but could not maintain their position against overwhelming 
numbers, and capitulated. Free departure was refused to the Romans, 
but they were assured that their lives would be spared. But they 
were disarmed and cut to pieces. Ananias the high priest and 
other leaders of the moderate party were slain. After the victory 
a quarrel broke out between Eleazar, who seems to have felt 
remorse for the perfidy of his followers and his father's death,, and 
Manahem, the most violent of "the men of the dagger." It ended 
in the execution of Manahem. 

Thus, in Csesarea the foes of the Jews had slaughtered the Jews ; 
in Jerusalem the Jews had slaughtered their foes ; and it was said 
that both events happened on the same day. Other Greek towns 
followed the example of Caasarea. The Jews in Damascus, Gadara, 
Scythopolis, Ascalon, were massacred. The bitterness against them 
broke out, too, in Alexandria, and the street-tumults required the 
interference of the Roman troops. As soon as Cestius Gallus, the 
governor of Syria, heard what had happened in Jerusalem, he set 
forth with his troops to put down the insurgents. His army con- 
sisted of about 20,000 Roman soldiers, and 13,000 auxiliaries from 

* The same who is called a " whited j f Even offerings to Augustus had beer 
wall " in the Acts of the Apostles. | allowed. 

65-68 a.d. VESPASIAN'S STKATEGY. 369 

the dependent kingdoms, along with forces of Syrian militia. 
Having taken Joppa and slain its inhabitants, he marched on 
Jerusalem, and stood before its walls in September. But the strong 
fortifications defied him, and he was driven back with serious loss. 
The news of the failure of Gallus reached Nero in Greece, and he 
appointed Mucianus legatus of Syria, and assigned to Vespasian the 
task of quelling the Jewish rebellion, as an independent legatus. 

§ 18. The three legions, which had been sent from the Illyric 
Jands to carry on the war with Parthia, were perhaps already 
returning to their original stations. If so, they were now sent 
back on account of the rebellion. Two of them, V. Macedonica 
and XV. Apollinaris, were given to Vespasian, along with one of the 
Syrian legions, X. Fretensis. The other additional legion, IV. 
Scythica, took the place of the Xth in Syria, and remained there 
permanently. In addition to his three legions and their au\ilia, 
Vespasian had large bodies of troops contributed by the dependent 
kings of Commagene, Emesa, and Nabatea, as w< 11 as by Agrippa. 
The whole army, amounting to more .than 50,000 men, was 
mustered at Ptolemais in spring, 67 a.d., and entered Palestine. 
The entire country, Galilee and Samaria, as well as Judea, was 
now in the hands of the insurgents, with the exception of the 
Greek towns. They had taken and destroyed Anthedon and 
Gaza, but after they had failed at Ascalon, they confined them- 
selves to defensive measures, and did not meet the Romans in the 
open field. Vespasian's plan was slow, but sure. He decided to 
make no attempt against Jerusalem until he had isolated it by 
reducing the surrounding districts. The first campaign was 
occupied with the reduction of Galilee, and the coast as far as 
Ascalon. In this warfare the historian Josephus played a con- 
siderable part. The siege of Jotapata, which he defended, lasted 
forty-five .da} r s. He was a member of the moderate party, but 
was appointed commander in Galilee. Josephus escaped with his 
life, and found _ favour with Vespasian, whose client he became, 
adopting the name Titus Flavius. During the following winter, 
Vespasian kept two legions at Cassarea, aud stationed the third at 
Scythopolis, so as to cut off communications between Judea and 
Galilee. In the spring of 68 a.d., he proceeded to occupy the 
regions beyond the Jordan, including the impjrtant towns of 
Gadara and Gerasa. The fugitives, who were driven from 
their homes by the Roman soldiers, flocked to increase the 
multitude collected in Jerusalem. Vespasian then took up 
quarters at Jericho. Samaria was occupied in the north, Id umea 
in the south, and the legions were about to advance on Jerusalem, 
when the news of Nero's death arrived. Vespasian was not 


disposed to put himself in a false position by continuing to act as 
legatus, until his powers should be renewed by Nero's successor. 
Military operations were therefore suspended, and before Galba 
could send his commands to Vespasian, winter had approached. 
The fall of Galba and the struggle between Otho and Yitellius gave 
the Jews a still longer respite ; and when, after the proclamation of 
Vitellius, Yespasian began to resume operations, his own elevation 
again interrupted the warfare, and it was not till the spring of 70 
a.d. that his son Titus marched against Jerusalem to end the 
miserable episode. 

§ 19. Jerusalem, in the meantime, was a scene of wild confusion. 
The leader of the moderate party had been slain, the Zealots 
reigned supreme, and quarrelled and fought among themselves. 
There were three main parties. One headed by Eleazar, son of 
Simon, and consisting of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, occupied 
the inner enclosure of the Temple. The outer court of the Temple 
was held by John of Giscala and his Galileans. Another party, 
under Simon, son of Gioras, of Gerasa, held the upper town, the hill 
of Zion. But when the Romans came, these factions composed their 
differences, and fought side by side. Eleazar's party placed itself 
under John, and thus the rivalry was narrowed to two competitors, 
Simon in the city and John in the Temple. 

Titus might have blockaded the city, and starved the inhabitants 
out, but he wished to inaugurate the new Flavian dynasty and 
make his own reputation by a brilliant exploit. Jerusalem was 
defended on all sides by impregnable rocks, except on the north, 
on which side it had been attacked by the Assyrians, and more 
recently by Pompeius. Herod Agrippa had attempted to strengthen 
the fortifications on this accessible side, but the Romans had 
prevented him. The walls which he had planned were hastily 
raised under the direction of the Sanhedrim during the insurrection. 
The task of Titus was not an easy one. When he had stormed the 
outer wall, and penetrated into the new city, a second wall met 
him which he had to pass before he could reach the lower city 
on the hill of Acra. Then he had to storm the temple, surrounded 
by an inner and an outer wall, and the adjoining citadel, called 
Antonia. The strong defences of Zion, on which the upper city 
was built, and the palace of Herod, still remained. 

The forces of Titus had been increased by another legion from 
Syria, XII. Fulminata. The first wall resisted for a long time 
all the attempts of the assailants, but at length fell beneath 
the battering-ram. Many of the besieged would then have been 
willing to submit, in fear of the famine which threatened them, and 
the Roman general sent Josephus to the wall to offer honourable 


terms. But the chiefs would not hear of surrender. Then Titus 
drew a wall of circumvallation round the city, and cut off all 
external supplies from the inhabitants, while they continued their 
attacks on the second wall. The sufferings of the Jews from 
famine became terrible ; a woman was known to kill her child for 
food. At this time a half-witted fanatic, Joshua, the son of 
Hanan, went about the public places shonting, " A voice of ruin 
from the east and from the west, from the north and from the 
south ! " and " Woe to Jerusalem ! " None dared to hinder or 
punish him. One day he uttered a new cry, " Woe to me also ! " 
and at the s.ame moment he was killed by a stone from a catapult 
of the besiegers. All sorts of portents were said to have occurred. 
The doors of the Temple burst open, and a voice more than human 
cried, " Let us depart hence ! " and a great sound of departure was 

At last, at the end of three months, the second wall was 
passed, and the citadel Antonia taken. This castle, close to the 
temple, and overlooking it, was destroyed by the Eomans, except 
one wing, which was left standing as a watch-tower. Titus then 
allowed considerable numbers of the population to leave the town ; 
but the Zealots remained deaf to the expostulations of Josephus, 
and the admonitions of the Jews who had been taken captive in 
the lower city. They refused to spare the temple by timely 
submission to the besiegers. They carried on the work of defence 
with no regard to the sacred character of the place, and even 
desecrated the Holy of Holies by their presence. For a long time 
they baffled the assaults of the Eomans; but the defence of the 
outer temple-wall gradually relaxed, and at length the burning 
missiles of the assailants set fire to the northern portico. The two 
leaders, John of Giscala, and Simon, son of Gioras, with some of their 
followers, escaped by the connecting causeway which they broke 
down behind them, into the upper city. But the multitude and 
the priests stood firm in the inner enclosure. The Eomans with 
difficulty passed the outer wall, making a path for themselves 
with the help of fire, which soon spread and consumed the royal 
porch of Herod. Many of the Jews perished in the flames, the 
rest were cut down in a final struggle. The Temple and its 
treasures were burned to the ground (August). The chiefs still 
lay behind the defences of the upper city, hopeless, yet resolved 
not to yield. But discord raged among the garrison of the last 
stronghold, and a large number of Jews gave themselves up to 
the Eomans. The rest were reduced by famine, and the chiefs 
at last abandoned the defence of the rampart, and sought refuge 
in the subterranean passages with which the hill was honeycombed 


and by which they hoped to reach the valleys beyond. The 
Romans then entered ; and slew, plundered, and burned (September 
2nd). The siege had lasted over five months, but at length 
Jerusalem was laid in ruins. Simon and John, unable to escape 
in the underground galleries, and pressed by hunger, came forth 
from their holes, and surrendered. The life of John was spared, 
but Simon was reserved for the triumph, and put to death after- 
wards. Those of the insurgents who escaped, held out for years 
in the rock fortresses of Massada and Machasrus, near the Dead 
Sea. The captives were put to death or sold into slavery. Many 
died from starvation, refusing to accept food from their warders. 

§ 20. Although Vespasian and Titus disdained to add to their 
names the title Judaicus, drawn from a people whom they despised, 
they did not omit to celebrate a triumph in honour of the victory ; 
and an arch was erected by the senate to Titus after his death 
on which may be still seen a sculpture of the golden candlestick 
with seven branches, which was rescued from the sanctuary of the 
Temple. Another arch was erected during his lifetime in the 
Circus, and the dedication celebrates his capture of Jerusalem, 
" which all leaders, kings and nations before him had either 
attacked in vain or left wholly unattempted." The statement 
is ludicrously false ; and if we can excuse the senate for ignorance 
of the Assyrian siege or even of that of Antiochus Epiphanes, we 
cannot understand their ignoring Pompeius. 

The demolition of Jerusalem, which lay in ruins as Carthage and 
Corinth had once lain, deprived the Jewish nation of a centre. 
The high priesthood and the Sanhedrim were abolished, and the 
Israelites were left without a head. The yearly tribute which 
every Jew, wherever he dwelled, used to send to the temple, was 
now, by a sort of bitter parody, to be sent to the temple of 
Capitoline Jupiter. It is a disputed question whether Titus 
really wished to destroy the Temple with all its wonders, or 
whether its destruction was an accident which he deplored. It 
seems, on the whole, more likely that its destruction was part 
of the political scheme which the Roman government had devised, 
to settle the petty, but troublesome Jewish question once for all. 
It should be taken in connection with the fact tnat Vespasian at 
the same time closed the Temple of Onias near Memphis in Egypt, 
the chief sanctuary of the Egyptian Jews. The conflagration 
was a matter for praise to the Roman poet Valerius Flaccus, who, 
in the invocation of his " Argonautica," celebrates Titus for 
scattering the torches in Solyma : 

Solymo nigrantem pulvere fratrem, 
Spargentemque faces et in omni turre furentem. 

70 A.D. 



Judea became a province of the Empire, and the camp of the 
Xth legion,* which was left as its garrison, was pitched on the 
ruins of the fallen capital. Henceforward, the troops levied in 
Judea were employed elsewhere. A settlement of Roman veterans 
was made at Emmaus. In Samaria, the chief town, Sichem, was 
organised under the name Flavia Neapolis, as a Greek city. On 
the other hand, Caasarea, hitherto a Greek city, was made a 
Flavian Colonia of Roman type. King Agrippa, who had sup- 
ported the Romans loyally, retained his possessions as long as 
he lived ; but on his death, about thirty years later, his kingdom 
was incorporated in the province of Syria. 

* The Xllth legion was sent to Cappadocia; the Vth and XVth back to their 
quarters in Moesia and Pannonia respectively. 



The following (according to Pfitzner, 

Geschichte der romischen Kaiserlegionen) 

was the distribution of the legions by 

Vespasian, after the subjugation of the 

German and Jewish revolts : 

Spain: VJI. Gemina. 

Britain : II. Augusta, IX., XX. Victrix. 

Germany, Lower : II. Adjutrix, VI. 

Victr., X. Gem!, XXI. Rapax. 
Germany, Upper: I. Adjut., VIII. 

Aug., XL Claudia, XIV. Gem. 
Pant onia : XIII. Gem., XV. Apollinaris 

XXII. Primigenia. 
Moesia : I. Italica, IV. Flavia, V. 

Alauda, V. Macedonica, VII. Claudia. 
Syria: III. Gallica, IV. Scythica, VI. 

Cappadocia: XII. Fulminata, XVI. 

Judea: X. Fretensis. 
Egypt: III. Cyrenaica, XXII. Dejo- 

Africa : III. Augusta. 
The total number of legions was thus 
twenty-nine, as at Nero's death. This 
number had been increased to thirty by 
Galba, who added VII. Galbiana. Four 
legions had been disbanded in consequence 
of the revolt of Civilis, and their place 
supplied by three new ones. Thus the 
number of twenty -nine was restored. 

Coin: Judaea Capta. 




(69-96 a.d.). 

§ 1. The work of Vespasian. Character, origin, and family. § 2. Cere- 
mony on the restoration of the Capitol. Closing of Temple of Janus 
(7 L a.d.). § 3. Titus made a consort and praetorian prefect by his 
j'ather. § 4. Vespasian's attitude to the senate and to the opposition. 
Helvidius Priscus. § 5. Finances. § 6. Public buildino-s. § 7. 
Praetorian guards reorganised. § 8. Provincial administration. 
Grant of ius Latinum to Spain. § 9. Death of Vespasian. — § 10. Acces- 
sion of Titus. Berenice. § 11. Policy of Titus. Spectacles. § 12. 
Fire at Rome. E